Rick Morris and Sharon Morris Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: Eastbound: NNW-SSW 2-3; Westbound: NW-SSW 3
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus: 7
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis: 2
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena: 1
Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata: 1
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus: 2
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis: 68
Gannet Morus bassanus: 147
Great Skua Stercorarius skua: 1
Common Gull Larus canus: 13
Herring Gull Larus argentatus: 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus: 10
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla: 154
Guillemot Uria aalge: 205
Razorbill Alca torda: 3
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle: 2
Unidentified Auk Sp. 67
Unidentified Small Gull Sp. 2
Unidentified Large Gull Sp. 4
Unidentified Diver Sp. 1
Feral Pigeon Columba livia: 1
arrived at DFDS's terminal in Immingham on Saturday evening around
23:00hrs and boarded our ship at midnight, this meant we could get
into our cabin and get some sleep as the ship was scheduled for a
05:00 departure. We awoke around an hour after departure and had
time for breakfast before going up to the bridge to start the first
leg of this first Brevik/Gothenburg survey.
The weather was kind to us as we had a bright start to the day with good conditions, we were very optimistic of some good sightings and at just gone 10am, we had a group of seven Bottlenose Dolphins, four of which came into the bow and three went down the starboard side, these were followed shortly afterwards by a Great Skua which flew across the bow of the ship.
Around midday we observed a large bull Grey Seal watching us watching him as we went past, then shortly afterwards our only Harbour Porpoise was spotted briefly as it hastily swam away from us, but the highlight of this trip came at just before 2pm when a Minke Whale was observed ahead lunge feeding and then showed nicely as it went down the starboard side. The rest of the day was punctuated with regular sightings of various seabirds which took us to sunset where upon we said goodnight to the officer of the watch and headed down for dinner.
The second day of the Brevik leg would have gave us around an hour of daylight before reaching port but we weren't able to survey along the fjord due to fog. This was a real shame, but we imagine the views to be stunning in good light. We decided not to leave the ship to look around town as the weather was not favourable so instead made use of the time to input the data collected into the laptop.
The next leg of this trip saw us leave Brevik at 9pm for Gothenburg in Sweden for an 8am arrival the next morning. This part of the survey will be more suitable for observation in the summertime as at this time of year we did not have any daylight on the way into Gothenburg.
After a twelve hour stopover in Gothenburg we set sail at 8pm for Immingham and after a good night's sleep and a spot of breakfast, were up on the bridge once again to start the homeward bound survey. With a sea state of three, again we were optimistic of some good sightings and just before 9am we recorded a Grey Seal then around half an hour later two Common Dolphins showed briefly, but alas that was to be all the cetaceans as at 10am we encounter mist and fog which stayed with us for the rest of the journey making it very difficult to observe, although we did record sporadic sightings of various seabirds.
We arrived back in Immingham just ahead of schedule at 21:30 and said our thanks and farewells. A big thank you goes to DFDS and the crew of the Freesia Seaways for allowing us to conduct this survey.
Rick Morris and Sharon Morris, Research Surveyors for MARINElife