Sightings Archives: July 2018

MARINElife blog: DFDS Seaways ‘Seven Sisters’ Newhaven-Dieppe 14 July 2018

Posted 25 July 2018

Carol Farmer-Wright and Keith Morgan, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Weather: Outbound: Visibility excellent, sea state 2-3, some glare. Return: Visibility excellent, sea state 1-2, some glare

Summary of sightings:

Marine mammals
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 4
Gannet Morus bassanus 64
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 7
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 1
Herring Gull Larus argantatus 60
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 22
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 9
Guillemot Uria aalge 2
Gull sp. Laridae  14
Larus sp.  202

Terrestrial Birds
Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon Columba livia 1

We had beautiful weather throughout for this survey, very much in keeping with the amazing hot dry summer in south east England.

At the start we received a friendly welcome from Captain Philippe Conquet, who Carol had travelled with previously.  We were on the bridge from the outset and enjoyed excellent views of the sunny Sussex coast as we set off.

Gannet Peter Howlett 17
Gannet (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

The sea was calm, the sun was bright, and we had a slow but steady stream of birds, mostly Gannet and Herring Gull but with a few Kittiwake and three Manx Shearwater.  The Gannet were particularly impressive in their summer best with the whites and blacks sharply defined and that beautiful golden colour to the head.

Carol spotted a Harbour Porpoise that rolled and disappeared beneath the surface just ahead of our port beam.

The weather in Dieppe was just as good as back home so we strolled gently into town to enjoy the markets, the seafront, and the cafes.

Back at the terminal the TV was showing England v Belgium, and the small crowd went even more quiet as Belgium got their second goal to secure third place in the World Cup.

Our return journey was much like the outward one with excellent weather and a calm sea, and with a steady flow of birds and a few Fulmar to add to the mix.

Fulmar Mike Bailey 06
Fulmar (Library photo: Mike Bailey)

As we approached Newhaven we saw a handful of gulls following a fishing vessel but as we got closer we could see more and more birds, and it eventually became a great mass of over 200 birds, bobbing on the waves, standing on the rigging, or flying around looking for scraps.

Our thanks as always to the Captain and crew of 'Seven Sisters' for making us welcome and for supporting MARINElife.