Steven McAusland and Steve Morgan; Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)
Weather: Dry, sunny and minimal cloud cover, good visibility, sea state 2 inc. 4-5.
Summary of sightings:
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 8
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 2
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Gannet Morus bassanus 141
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 5
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 22
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 18
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 12
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 33
Guillemot Uria aalge 10
After a few cups of tea at the ferry terminal, we were escorted to the ferry where we were quickly allocated our cabin whereupon we started to prepare for the survey.
Harbour Porpoise (Archive photo: Graham Ekins)
Arriving on the bridge, the crew welcomed us and soon began telling us of recent dolphin sightings on their passages during the week. To hear stories from seasoned seafarers about their passionate recollections of these encounters was brilliant.
Leaving the port of Newhaven the ship was soon under way heading towards the French coast. As with all MARINElife surveys we were given a prime spot on the starboard side of the bridge to conduct the survey. Not very long into the journey, we had sightings of Harbour Porpoise; a fabulous start to the survey. In total we saw eight of these marine mammals.
In terms of bird species, the survey was disappointing. However, July is very much the month that is renowned as the quietest on the bird sightings front, so we enjoyed the reasonably calm waters and the generous hospitality of DFDS as we recorded those birds that we did spot.
Gannet (Archive photo: Steve McAusland)
We extended our thanks to the Captain and crew for their continued support for MARINElife and we both look forward to surveying this route again.