Sightings Archives: May 2014

MARINElife Survey Report: DFDS ‘Clementine' Immingham-Cuxhaven 9th - 12th May 2014

Posted 24 May 2014

Elaine Cursons and Cassie Bye, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Eastbound: SW 4-6 dry, fully clouded, good visibility some glare.
Westbound: WSW 5-7 heavy rain in morning, unable to survey, dry and good visibility in afternoon with some periods of strong glare.

Summary of Sightings

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 6
Gannet Morus bassanus 28
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 6
Common Gull  Larus canus 177
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 57
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus 23
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 15
Guillemot Uria aalge 7
Gull Sp. 94
Tern Sp. 3



Friday 9th May

We were welcomed aboard The Clementine by Captain Belausov and the crew and were immediately served lunch as it was 12 noon 'ships time'. The survey started about one hour after departure, when the ship was clear of the lock, with sightings of a few gulls. It was then very quiet until we were clear of the Humber and out at sea when there was a steady stream of individual and small groups of birds. Sightings were mostly Common and Herring Gull, but with small numbers of Gannet and Kittiwake. This continued until the light faded at about a quarter to nine.

Common Gull 1







Common Gull (archive photo: Rick Morris)

Saturday 10th May

It was light at four thirty when we started surveying, but there were no sightings until later in the morning. There was then a steady stream of gulls, this time mainly Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed, with occasionally a Gannet flying past. As we approached Cuxhaven we saw a small group of Common Scoter. In the evening we watched a James Bond film and retired early ready for another early start on Sunday.                                                                    

LBB Gull Graham Ekins 01            










Lesser Black-backed Gull (archive photo: Graham Ekins)

Sunday 11th May

The wind strengthened overnight and we rose to rougher seas and difficult surveying conditions. At eight twenty we suspended the survey due to continuous heavy rain. By twelve noon the rain had stopped and the wind gradually subsided. Although sighting numbers were still low there was a greater range of species and some larger groups of birds feeding, including some larger gulls squabbling over food.

North Sea








North Sea (photo: Elaine Cursons)

We would like to thank captain Belousov and all the crew for their hospitality throughout the entire trip.

Elaine Cursons and Cassie Bye, Research Surveyors for MARINElife