John Perry and Colin Gill - Research Surveyors for
Conditions westbound: Wind 4 NW; Cloud light and variable
Conditions eastbound: Wind 6-8 NW; Cloud light and variable
Cetaceans and Seals:
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus 2
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata 3
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 45
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 22
Gannet Morus bassanus 1
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 132
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 78
Common Gull Larus canus 20
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 39
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 14
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 29
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 93
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle 2
Guillemot Uria aalge 134
Razorbill Alca torda 13
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 1
Thursday morning dawned bright and clear with light winds, so conditions were therefore ideal for our survey to Dublin. Our tickets were rapidly issued by the efficient Seatruck staff and we were then driven to the very modern "Seatruck Progress", where the purser provided us with a filling breakfast. We were then welcomed to the bridge by Captain Eoin O'Doherty.
Once in the Mersey Estuary our recording began with large numbers of Cormorant as well as a range of coastal gulls and two flocks of Common Scoter. A solitary Grey Seal was spotted as we passed the Mersey Bar.
Further offshore we started to see Kittiwake, Fulmar and
Guillemot as well as a few Razorbill.
With dusk fast approaching we thanked the Captain for his hospitality and left the bridge to start collating the day's entries.
After leaving "Seatruck Progress" we took a taxi to Jury's Inn, opposite Christchurch Cathedral where we were generously provided with a comfortable complementary room. Jury's Inn's generosity was very much appreciated and after a pleasant night in Temple Bar, we retired for a peaceful night's rest.
The following morning was noticeably windier than the day before. We took a taxi to the terminal where we boarded the newly commissioned "Seatruck Power". After an excellent breakfast we were met by Captain Daly who made sure we had everything we needed for the return survey.
As we left the harbour we saw two Black Guillemot, looking outstanding in their beautiful winter plumage, and also a young Grey Seal. As we travelled east into Dublin Bay it became clear that the increase in wind speed was reflected in the sea state and unlike on the outward journey, we no longer had a flat calm sea. Nonetheless, we still picked up a number of gulls and auks as well as a Great Skua and a Gannet. Despite the wind and sea state, the ship was very comfortable and we thoroughly enjoyed the survey.
As the light began to fade we thanked the Captain and his crew
for their hospitality and ended the survey. We would like to thank
Seatruck and Jury's Inns for their continued support for this
important survey route.
John Perry and Colin Gill - Research Surveyors for MARINElife