Plymouth-Roscoff

Recent Sightings

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth-Roscoff survey 8-9th September 2013

Posted 15 September 2013

Maggie Gamble & Kate Wilson, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Outward - No survey as insufficient daylight. Return - good visibility, wind north-westerly force 5-7.

Summary of Species Recorded

Marine Mammals
No sightings

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 13
Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus 13
Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 66
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 9
Great Skua  Stercorarius skua 13
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 46
Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 3
Guillemot Uria aalge 1
Large gull sp. c500
Tern sp.  4

Balearic Shear Tom Brereton 06bWe boarded at eleven pm for the overnight crossing southbound which was very comfortable. In the morning there was not enough daylight to set about our formal observations before docking at Roscoff. We had time before the return departure to explore Roscoff, which is delightful, the town and surrounding rocks seem to be all granite and the sea is so clear. We had breakfast in a harbour cafe and some retail therapy before re-joining the boat.

Departure was very prompt, and after leaving the harbour we were welcomed onto the bridge to begin surveying. About an hour into the survey a few Balearic Shearwaters were a welcome sight amongst the ever present Gannets. Then in less than an hour we recorded 13 Great Skuas, some of which gave us superb views of this charismatic bird. It's always great to see migration taking place and, as far as I could tell, they were all adults. Later we started recording Manx Shearwater, Fulmars and a few terns.

Balearic Shearwater (Archive photo: Tom Brereton)

Great Skua Peter Howlett 01

Great Skua (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

Cetaceans remained a bit elusive on this survey unlike previous recent trips which have produced good sightings, hopefully the next team will have more success.

Once again our thanks go to the Captain and crew of the Armorique for allowing us to continue surveying on the route.

 

Maggie Gamble & Kate Wilson, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth-Roscoff 6-7August 2013

Posted 08 August 2013

Rick Morris and John Little; Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Predominately from the North 3-4, sea state 2-4

Summary of sightings:

Cetaceans
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus12

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 4
Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 121
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 46
Lesser black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 29
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 6
Large Gull Sp. 161
Auk Sp. 1

Meeting in the Brittany Ferries terminal, we proceeded to check in and after a short wait made our way to our survey vessel, the smart 'Armorique'. It was now getting quite late, so a quick look around the onboard facilities, a fleeting visit to the outer top deck and then it was off to bed.

Gannet ad 3
Gannet (Archive photo: Adrian Shephard)

Awaking to the musical alarm call we decided, that as this trip was going to be a quick turn around, we would stay on board - giving us time to go over the survey forms and taking in the views of Roscoff harbour. We asked to be escourted to the bridge just prior to departing Roscoff, where we were greeted by the ever helpful bridge crew.

The survey started once manouvering away from our berth had finished. The weather was a mix of cloud and sunshine, but thankfully no rain and not too windy. Sightings were mainly of Gannet at first and they remained the most consistent species all the way back to Plymouth. Other seabirds observed included Fulmar, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull with the highlight being a solitary Manx Shearwater majestically shearing over the waves.

While logging some Gannet on the seabird sheet, John excitedley shouted 'dolphins!' to which, looking in the direction of where John was pointing, I saw three Bottlenose Dolphin hurredly surface and dive in front of the bow. A couple of Gannet sightings were recorded in the following few minutes, when another group of Bottlenose dolphin appeared dead ahead at 500m. Initially I counted six animals, but the group surfaced again revealing three more making a total of nine. Given that only a few minutes had passed between the sightings of these magnificent creatures, we believe they were all part of the same pod.

BND 1
Bottlenose Dolphin (Archive photo: Adrian Shephard)

The rest of the trip was punctuated with Gannet and gulls, with two large groups of gulls
following trawlers looking for a meal.

We reached the outer breakwater and concluded our survey, said our thanks to the crew
and made our way down to pack away our kit.

Many thanks to the bridge officers, crew and terminal staff and to Brittany Ferries
for the continued support of our work.

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth to Roscoff Survey 5-6 July 2013

Posted 27 July 2013

Fiona McNie and Emma Howe-Andrews, Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: Wind predominately northerly 3-4, clear skies, good visibility, sea state 1-3

Summary of sightings
Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 10
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 1
Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata 1

Sharks
Blue Shark Prionace glauca 2
Common Smoothound Mustelus mustelus 1
Small shark sp 3

Fish
Ocean Sunfish Mola mola 2

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 74 
Gannet Morus bassanus 111
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 29
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 6
Guillemot Uria aalge 4
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 2
Tern sp 1
Auk sp 3

Terrestrial
Feral Pigeon Columba livia 1
Duck sp 3

Manx Shearwater Peter Howlett 06

We were warmly welcomed onboard for our overnight southbound crossing to Roscoff and we quickly settled down into our very comfortable bunks for a 4.40am start on the bridge or 'timonerie'.  We awoke to calm conditions, clear skies and a beautiful English Channel sunrise and began our short survey, before we knew it, we were already on our final approach for a prompt arrival. No cetacean sightings were recorded but we did enjoy some fantastic views of Manx Shearwater and the ever graceful Gannet which made up for it.

After leaving the ship, we took a leisurely walk into the enchanting little port of Roscoff and with a rumble in our bellies, headed down the quaint streets in search of a traditional French café. With appetites satisfied from delicious local pastries, crepes, hot chocolate and tea we took in the delightful sights of the harbour in the warm sunshine and purchased a souvenir or two.

Harbour Porpoise Mike Bailey 01a

However, it was not long before it was time to return to the ship and we were once again warmly welcomed by the very helpful crew back on board and shown to the bridge to begin the northbound transect of the survey. The sea state was a steady  3 at first, with a moderate swell and winds predominantly from the north, and it wasn't long before a few birds had crossed the path of the ship including a Feral Pigeon who decided to join us for part of the journey. Other birds recorded throughout the survey were Gannet, Great Black-backed Gull, Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Herring Gull and Guillemot.

As we headed north  the sea state improved and with a beautiful sea state 2 and good visibility we were pondering our first sighting when two Harbour Porpoise surfaced! After this, the sightings came in quick succession with eight further Harbour Porpoise recorded, a single Common Dolphin making its way along the starboard side of the ship and magnificent views of two Blue and one Common Smoothound sharks clearly visible in the calm conditions.  There were also 10 Ocean Sunfish and an infinite number of jellyfish observed.

Minke Whale Peter Howlett 02

As the almost mirror like conditions continued, we couldn't believe how lucky we had been to see such a diverse range of animals until the final sighting, a Minke Whale on our approach through Plymouth Sound! We were able to gain at least four viewings of the animal before it disappeared beneath the waves with a number of passengers now standing on the starboard side in hope of a further glimpse of this amazing creature. With excitement still in the air, the survey drew to a close with another prompt arrival and two very happy researchers disembarking in Plymouth.

We would like to thank the staff and crew of the 'Armorique' who made us feel very welcome and for their helpful and efficient manner on an unforgettable crossing.

Fiona McNie and Emma Howe-Andrews, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth-Roscoff survey 2 June 2013

Posted 27 June 2013

Carol Greig and Catherine Spear, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Light winds, calm and clear.

Marine Mammals
1 dolphin sp.

 

Seabirds
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 12
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 11
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 4
Gannet Morus bassanus 154
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Common Gull Larus canus 1
Greater Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 6
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 4
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 22
Guillemot Uria aalge 5
Gull sp.                  9
Auk sp.                  5

Boarding the ferry was, as usual, quick and efficient and we headed straight to our clean, tidy and inviting cabin.  After a few hours sleep we were shown up to the bridge for 4.45am to complete nearly 2 hours of surveying on the southbound leg into Roscoff where the sun was shining on the lovely little harbour.

The almond flavoured cakes that were purchased from a local store in the town were delicately wrapped and a delight to devour.

Fulmar 01a Rob Petley-JonesDeparture was prompt later in the day and after leaving the harbour we were again welcomed onto the bridge for the second leg of the survey which was nearly perfect with little cloud cover, good visibility with only a small amount of swell and little to no waves.

The chunky body shape of the Fulmar made their identification quick and easy, leaving time to enjoy their flight across the bow of the ferry. There was also a group of Common Scoter flying port to starboard showing off their plump bodies and the quick downward thrust of their heads as they passed by.

There were several relatively long time periods where there were no sightings of birds but then a Gannet or group of Gannets would be spotted with their distinctive yellow/buff heads. There was a relatively large proportion of Gannets within the birds surveyed and the plumage differentiation could be seen relatively easily due to the conditions. The Gannets could be grouped into those showing feeding behaviour, sitting on the water surface or on the wing.

Gannet 13a Carol Farmer WrightThere was a glimpse of a dolphin underneath 16 adult Gannets that were feeding energetically and showing some impressive feeding dives. Unfortunately the distance and the diving birds made it impossible to identify.

As the water was so calm the identification of a small amount of the flotsam was relatively easy and included a couple of drinks cans, plastic shopping bags and a helium balloon.

On the way past the breakwater there were some stunning views of a frigate on its way out to sea with a police escort and a pilot boat as well as gulls sitting on the breakwater and buoys.

Once again our thanks go to the staff and crew of the Armorique who made this a very enjoyable crossing.

 

Carol Greig and Catherine Spear, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth-Roscoff 3-4 May 2013

Posted 13 May 2013

Rick Morris and Joshua Stafford, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather
Outward: wind 3-4 west-southwest, overcast, clearing
Return: wind 3-4 predominantly west, overcast, clearing

Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 6
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 18
Gannet Morus bassanus 126
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 8
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 2
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 4
Guillemot Uria aalge 15
Large Gull sp.   2
Auk sp.    4
Duck sp.   1

Harbour Porpoise Mike Bailey 01aWe were welcomed onto our overnight crossing southbound by a very friendly crew who made arrangements for us to get to the bridge at sunrise. The morning started slowly with a few Gannet but as we neared Roscoff sightings increased steadily with Shag and Great Black-backed and Herring Gull of various ages to keep us busy. Just before Roscoff we had our only sightings of cetaceans - 2 Harbour Porpoise.

After getting off the ferry we made the short trip to Roscoff, stopping along the way to scan the beaches for the local wildlife. Upon reaching town we stopped for a quick breakfast and coffee in a small bakery. After which we walked out along the jetty and around the nearby coast, highlights were Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone and Wheatear.

Gannet I3 Rick Morris 01aDeparture was prompt and we were again welcomed by the very helpful crew to the bridge just as we departed. The wind, predominantly from the west, and sea state were a steady 4 and we had a few birds with plenty of Gannet to keep us busy and the occasional Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Great Skua and Guillemot.

Once again our thanks go to the staff and crew of the Armorique who made this a very enjoyable crossing.

 

Rick Morris and Joshua Stafford, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 13th April 2013

Posted 19 April 2013

Darren Fanner and Joshua Stafford, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

 

Weather: S-SSW 5-7, moderate to poor visibility.

 

Marine Mammals
Dolphin sp. 2

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 1
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 2
Gannet Morus bassanus 54
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 3
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 6
Guillemot Uria aalge 8
Auk sp. 3
Gull sp. 1

Fulmar 2After a comfortable crossing and the morning exploring a showery Roscoff, we sampled some crepes and boarded for the survey of the northbound crossing. The wind increased as we left the shelter of the coast creating plenty of whitecaps but being behind us the crossing was comfortable, rain and fog also added to the difficulty in spotting cetaceans. We settled into the survey and started to pick up occasional Gannet, Kittiwake and auks as they were travelling near the coast.

Approaching mid-crossing 2 dolphins breached twice before we passed them. Unfortunately the views were too brief to identify the species.

 

Manx Shearwater Peter Howlett 02

The number of birds was generally low and having crossed the main shipping channel a Great Skua was a highlight. A lone Fulmar was, surprisingly the only one of the trip and two Manx Shearwaters helped add to the variety. A few Guillemot and a mix of gulls indicated we were nearing land and the fog closed in again as we approached Plymouth.

Thanks to the captain and crew who were friendly and helpful as always.








Darren Fanner and Joshua Stafford, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

 

MARINElife Survey report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth-Roscoff 28 February-1 March 2013

Posted 14 March 2013

Sharon Morris and Gemma James,  Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 24
Gannet Morus bassanus 112
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 4
Common Gull Larus canus 7
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2
Gull Sp. 11

Gannet 03/13We met at the Plymouth departure gate and introduced ourselves. After boarding the 'Armorique', we were shown to our cabins and were rather pleased to discover we had one each! After a lovely chat from Sharon about what to expect as a trainee on their first survey with MARINElife, we went below deck to get a good night's sleep.

Arriving early the next morning in France, we were awoken to a lovely traditional Breton instrumental wake-up call from Brittany Ferries. We left the ship and headed off to explore the little town of Roscoff. Hot chocolate was a warm tasty 'must' to start the day as well as some patisserie treats from the bakers.

Back on board we had just enough time to eat some hearty beef stew before being shown to the bridge ready to start our survey on the return journey back to Plymouth.

As we left the port numerous sightings of Gannet kept us on our toes and throughout our journey we had some fantastic close encounters with different bird species. We also had some very friendly crew introducing themselves as they came onto the bridge. Unfortunately there were no cetaceans recorded on this trip, although we were informed by the crew that dolphins were seen on the last trip.

Black Back Gull 03/13Coming to the end of the survey the sea conditions were perfect, calm seas with great visibility, just before the light started to fade as we docked back into Plymouth. It was a great training survey learning all about new techniques and different bird species. All the crew on-board the ferry were extremely friendly and accommodating and we look forward to sailing with them again.

Our thanks to the Captain, bridge officers and crew of the 'Armorique' and to Brittany Ferries for their continued support in our work.







Sharon Morris and Gemma James,  Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth to Roscoff survey 14-15th February 2013

Posted 20 February 2013

Teresa Donohue and Steph Wright, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather
Wind NW 5; excellent visibility throughout

Cetaceans
Common Dolphin  Delphinus delphis 40+

Seabirds
Fulmar  Fulmarus glacialis 2
Gannet  Morus bassanus 79
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua  Stercorarius skua 25
Mediterranean Gull  Larus melanocephalus 4
Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus 10
Kittiwake  Rissa tridactyla 7
Puffin  Fratercula arctica 1
Guillemot  Uria aalge 6
Unidentified Gull sp.  1
Unidentified Auk sp. 3

Terrestrial Birds
Brent Goose Branta bernicla 1

 

We boarded early and enjoyed a good explore of the 'Armorique', watching from her top deck as the bright lights and many interesting ships around the port of Plymouth disappeared into the night.

In Roscoff our first port of call was a hot tea and croissant, followed by a very pleasant walk around this picturesque town. Good numbers of Brent Goose, Oystercatcher and Grey Heron could be seen around the pretty, sandy beaches, and highlights included nice views of Black-necked and Great-crested Grebe fishing off the harbour. An intriguing pier running out into the lumpy sea gave us fantastic views of Ile de Batz. Many pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls had evidently taken up territories on the outlying islets, and we stopped to watch a Peregrine dive-bombing and harassing a few.

After re-boarding the ship, we were shown to the bridge by the very accommodating crew, and began preparing for a prompt departure.

Shortly after leaving port, a brief flurry of different birds were seen such as Shag, Cormorant and Mediterranean Gull. Out into the open sea, bird sightings were sporadic, consisting mostly of single, widely dispersed Gannets seen flying and searching for food. We encountered a handful of auks all in pairs or singles, including one delightful Puffin in breeding plumage. Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gulls and Fulmar were also present in low numbers.

Common Dolphin Feb13-14Conditions were exceptional; a sea state 1-2 with excellent visibility and good cloud cover allowed for numerous sightings of Common Dolphin. At one point a pod of 20+ including several juveniles rushed towards the ferry from around 700 metres away, leaping into the ship's wake, playing and following along the port side for 5 minutes.

Towards the end of our survey we came across 3 small aggregations of Great Skua, clearly feeding voraciously and fighting over something tasty. We found this particularly interesting, as perhaps an example of how seabirds seem to forage and find each other so effectively across such vast expanses of "featureless" sea.

Our sincere thanks to the helpful and friendly crew, who made us feel very welcome and shared many interesting stories of wildlife encounters with us.  Thanks also to all the other staff of the Armorique for a very enjoyable and comfortable crossing.

Teresa Donohue and Steph Wright, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Brittany Ferries ‘Armorique’ Plymouth – Roscoff 6th October 2012

Posted 10 October 2012

Heather Fowle and Cat Spear,Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: Northbound SW veering NE 3-7

Cetaceans
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 25+
Unidentified dolphins 30+

Seabirds
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 1
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 5
Gannet Morus bassanus 144
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Razorbill Alca torda 1
Unidentified gull sp 273

Terrestrial Birds
Sandpiper sp 4
Swift sp 22
Passerine 2

gannet ad 4Arriving into a very rainy Plymouth we were checked in by the very friendly and efficient staff for our late night crossing to Roscoff. Once on board we soon retired for the night in preparation for the northern survey leg early the next morning. 

Our hopes of sun in France were partially realised with the rain stopping; but unfortunately the skies remained grey with wave and wind conditions proving difficult for spotting dolphins.  We had been speaking to a crew member who had spotted over 100 Common Dolphin the previous day so we remained hopeful and vigilant.

 

common dolphin 6

Our trip was punctuated with lots of sightings of seabirds especially Gannet spectacularly plunge diving for fish. Our patience and vigilance was rewarded with over 25 Common Dolphin spotted in association with diving seabirds. Unfortunately a second group of over 30 dolphins, seen near a fishing vessel with over 200 seabirds plunge diving and fishing, remained unidentified due to the conditions. Shortly after the second pod of dolphins was sighted the clouds and grey skies cleared to give a sunny passage into Plymouth.

We left the bridge bidding a cheerful farewell to the helpful and friendly crew. Thank you to Brittany Ferries for their continued support of  our work.

Heather Fowle and Cat Spear, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

 

 

 



 

 


MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 8th September 2012

Posted 10 September 2012

Rick Morris and Sharon Morris, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Weather: Northbound: ENE 2-4

Cetaceans:
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Seabirds:
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Gannet Morus bassanus 134
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 10
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 2
Common Gull Larus canus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 26
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 108
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Shearwater Sp. 1
Gull Sp. 1
Mixed Gull Sp. 100+

Terrestrial Birds:
House Martin Delichon urbicum 1
Passerine Sp. 5




Gannet by SLArriving at the continental ferry port in Plymouth, we were promptly checked in by Brittany ferries ever helpful staff and once on board, retired for the night in readiness for the following day's survey. 
We were escorted to the bridge a quarter of an hour before departure, giving us ample time to set up and take in the views around the berth. Leaving Roscoff with the sun shining we were optimistic of some good sightings and we didn't have to wait too long before an unidentified (probably Balearic) shearwater was spotted on the surface accompanied by a solitary Harbour Porpoise; alas this was the only cetacean sighting for the crossing. The rest of the trip was punctuated with mainly Gannets, the occasional Fulmar and a few gulls, as well as a House Martin and a small group of passerines flying south. We did get a great view of a Great Skua as it passed by the bridge and also recorded one other further out.

A talk to one of the bridge officers revealed that on the last couple of trips Great Skua 2from Roscoff to Plymouth, there had been sightings of Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise but more interestingly was the mention of a 'whale' seen in the same location approximately two hours from Plymouth. We asked him to describe it and upon showing him an I.D chart and our cetacean book, he picked out a Northern Bottlenose Whale, which he described as having a 'large bulbous head'.

Heading towards the outer breakwater in Plymouth a mixed group of gulls  were seen feeding on a large shoal of fish, hopeful that the fish were driven to the surface by dolphins or Harbour Porpoises, we watched intensely until we passed by but none were seen.

We left the bridge saying our thanks and farewell's to the crew.

Thanks to Brittany Ferries for their continued support in our work

Rick Morris and Sharon Morris, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 25th August 2012

Posted 26 August 2012

Mike Bamford and Darren Fanner, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Weather: Northbound 6-8

Cetaceans:
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 3

Seabirds:
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 6
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 3
Shearwater Sp. 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 77
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 8
Wader sp. 6

We arrived in good time for a busy bank holiday 23:00 hours sailing and soon turned in for the night.
After a smooth crossing, we were woken by the gentle tunes of the wake up call to signal our imminent arrival in Roscoff. We disembarked and after a short walk, returned to the terminal for breakfast before re-boarding. On departure we were met by a helpful crew member in reception who promptly escorted us up to the bridge.
As we started the survey two shearwater sheared past, one a Manx the other we couldn't get enough on to identify. The wind soon got up and away from France the bright conditions were replaced by showers, passing intermittently making viewing conditions challenging. Numerous Gannet accompanied us for the next couple of hours but the sightings thinned out as we crossed the busy shipping lanes.
Harbour PorpoiseAfter the lull in sightings, a Gannet passed by along with our first Fulmar. Gannets were more visible again and a Lesser Black-backed Gull and another Fulmar appeared amongst them. Then cetacean fins broke the surface. Repeatedly and energetically they surfaced above the swell, but the triangular fins were distinctive, Harbour Porpoise, 3 in all. One was smaller than the others, perhaps a juvenile. We watched as they continued to porpoise through the water as the ship passed. More Gannet and another Fulmar passed, then 6 small waders shot across the bow but too quick to get a meaningful view to identify them.
As we approached Plymouth, 2 Manx Shearwater again graced the waves along with several Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Herring Gull.

Thanks to the staff and crew of the Armorique who always take an interest in our work and made this an enjoyable crossing.

Mike Bamford and Darren Fanner, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 6 - 7th July 2012

Posted 08 July 2012

Sue Lakeman and Emma Bateman, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Weather: Southbound 3-4; Northbound 5-8

Seabirds 
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 4
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus  50
Gannet Morus bassanus 82
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 18
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 2
Commic Tern 1
Unidentified Large Gull species 20

Terrestrial Birds
Unidentified Wader Sp 1
Feral Pigeon Columba livia 5

We arrived at the Brittany Ferry terminal in Plymouth and boarded the 'Armorique' for our overnight crossing to Roscoff. We liaised with the helpful purser to arrange access to the bridge the next morning and retired to our comfortable cabin.

Gannet ad 3In the morning, we were met as arranged by a friendly steward, who ensured we were on the bridge to start our survey by 5 a.m. There was just enough daylight to conduct an hour of survey southbound before docking in France, during which we logged a number of gannets, some even in the harbour area.

On arrival at Roscoff, we disembarked and waited in the ferry terminal for re-embarkation, as we were returning on the next sailing. We just had time for some breakfast and to spot a single swallow, flitting around the terminal area, amongst the Gannets, Herring Gulls and pigeons.

 

Manx Shearwater 1Departure was prompt and, after leaving the harbour, we were escorted back to the bridge by the helpful crew to recommence our survey on the northbound leg. The visibility and sea state made sighting anything challenging and we were not able to spot any cetaceans on this occasion. However, we were kept busy with seabird recording, the main species being the ever-present Gannets and many Manx Shearwaters, who glide effortlessly along the waves and seem to relish the uplift created by the wind to put on an impressive flight display.

On the approach to Plymouth Sound, shrouded in mist, we could see the unmistakable outline of the current Eddystone Lighthouse, with beside it the stump of its predecessor, Smeaton's  Tower, now reconstructed on Plymouth Hoe since its decommissioning in the late 19th century. We could soon also make out the silhouette of The Mewstone and the Devon coastline to the east and to the west, Fort Picklecombe, part of the Victorian coastal defences on the Cornish coast. As we passed the Napoleonic Plymouth breakwater, which reminds us of the long naval tradition of Plymouth, it was time for us to close the survey and leave the bridge.

It was a first crossing on the 'Armorique' for both of us and our thanks go to Captain Dennis and his crew and the helpful Brittany Ferries staff who all made us very welcome.

Sue Lakeman and Emma Bateman, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 5th May 2012

Posted 08 May 2012

Rick Morris and Sharon Morris, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Weather: NE 4-6

Seabirds 
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 2
Gannet Morus bassanus 53
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 3
Guillemot Uria aalge 3
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Gull Sp. 7 

We arrived at Brittany ferries terminal in Plymouth around 21:45 and were greeted by the ever helpful and friendly staff at the check-in desk who issued us with our boarding passes.

We boarded our vessel, the 'Armorique' at 22:15 and went straight to our cabin for a good night's sleep, as the survey was to be conducted on the northbound leg.

Our morning arrival in Roscoff was prompt and after a quick turnaround, we were escorted up to the bridge as we left port for our northbound survey.

The weather was not in our favour as we had rain for much of the voyage and with a sea state of mostly six, observation proved to be challenging, hence no cetacean sightings. However, we did record a number of sea birds and of course you can always depend on the I3 GannetGannets to keep you company. 

 

 

 

As we passed through the breakwater in Plymouth we packed away our equipment and said thanks to the captain and crew of the Armorique for their hospitality and co-operation.

   

   Rick Morris and Sharon Morris, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 14th April 2012

Posted 25 April 2012

Maggie Gamble and Carol Farmer-Wright, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: NE 1-3

Seabirds
Gannet Morus bassanus 168
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus  14
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Large Skua Sp.Stercorarius 2
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 17
Common Gull Larus canus 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 5
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 3
Unidentified Gull species 180
Guillemot Uria aalge 17
Razorbill Alca torda 12
Puffin Fratercula arctica 1
Unidentified Auk species 10
Commic Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 2
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2

Terrestrial Birds
Swallow Hirundo rustica  6
Common Crow  Corvus corone  1
Jackdaw Corvus monedula  2
Oyster Catcher Haematopus ostralegus  1

This month only the northern leg of the route was surveyed due to daylight constraints. So it was straight to our cabins after boarding for a very smooth overnight crossing.  After a quick early morning turnaround in Roscoff we were welcomed onto the bridge on departure, for the return leg.

Puffin run 1The bridge crew reported seeing dolphins the day before, so we were hopeful, however no cetaceans were sighted by us on this trip.

However there were enough birds to keep us busy and it's always good to see our breeding oceanic birds returning at the start of the season.

In amongst the small groups of Guillemots and Razorbills was a single Puffin and we had time to admire the graceful Manx Shearwaters as they manipulated the air currents above the water for their almost effortless flight.

Once again our thanks go to the staff and crew of the Armorique for their help during these surveys.

Maggie Gamble and Carol Farmer-Wright, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

 

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 12 March 2012

Posted 18 March 2012

Steve Hughes and Cheryl Yarham, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather:

Cetaceans Recorded
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 20+

Seabirds Recorded
Gannet Morus bassanus 41
Lesser Black-Backed Gull Larus fuscus 5
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2
Unidentified Auk sp 3 

Common Dolphin 1

Our overnight crossing southbound was very smooth and we arrived in Roscoff on time.

Departing Roscoff, we were greeted by poor visibility which was down to a few hundred metres, making identification and sightings very difficult. As we observed, we got a very quick visual of Common Dolphin which appeared suddenly coming into the bow. We thought we could see the odd splash in the water ahead, but with the visibility, positive confirmation of further dolphins was impossible. These dolphins must have been the first scouts out for fun. Then wham! They all came at once. A larger pod, we had no chance to get an accurate count. But Cheryl and I came to within a few individuals on our separate counts.

The sea was smooth and the winds were 6 falling to 2 which left fog denser than any I had ever seen before. How did sea farers cope without technology?

The rest of the voyage was quiet, just a few Gannets and Gulls visible.

Once again, a big thank you to all the staff aboard the Armorique. In particular on this trip, a big thank you to Carmen on reception on the 6th floor for her help.

Steve Hughes and Cheryl Yarham, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 27 February 2012

Posted 28 February 2012

Steve Hughes and Cheryl Yarham, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather:

Cetaceans Recorded
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 35

Seabirds Recorded
Gannet Morus bassanus 82
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 4
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 16
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 11
Unidentified Gull sp 3
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 15

Our overnight crossing southbound was very smooth. Roscoff is a delightful little port and town, with a harbour shared by pleasure boats, and some impressive deep water crab and tuna boats. We had time to have a good look around Roscoff and several cups of coffee together with the best baguettes I have ever tasted!

Gannet diveWe left Roscoff harbour and as always were welcomed on to the bridge. The weather was calm and with full cloud cover gave perfect viewing conditions. We started the survey at 14:00hrs and were immediately greeted by Northern Gannets, one of my personal favourite seabirds. They are so majestic, flying close to the sea surface seeking out their prey. When they spot it, they gain height before they dive down and just before they hit the water, their wings fold to produce a dart like body. I never tire of seeing them.

Half an hour into the survey, we spotted something darting through the water which turned out to be a small pod of Common Dolphin including one juvenile. They all headed toward the Armorique to bow ride, what a treat!

 

Common Dolphin with calf 2Later on that day, another pod of Common Dolphin came in to criss-crossed the bow of the ship. This time the pod contained 28 individuals all having fun. Throughout the day we entertained by Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Great Skuas and lots of Gannets.

As the survey drew to a close, we thanked the crew of the Armorique who always make us feel so welcome.

Steve Hughes and Cheryl Yarham, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 6 - 7 November 2011

Posted 09 November 2011

Richard Price, Steve Hughes, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather:

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 47

Gannet Morus bassanus 40+
Common Gull Larus canus 4
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 7
Little Gull Larus minutus 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 5
Unidentified Gull sp 7
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 11+
Unidentified Auk sp 9
Lesser Black-Backed Gull Larus fuscus 20+
Greater Black-Backed Gull Larus marinus 20+

Feral Pigeon 1

Our overnight crossing southbound was very smooth and at this time of year in the morning, there was not quite enough daylight to set about our formal observations. Departure was prompt, and after leaving the harbour we were welcomed by the very helpful crew to the 'passerelle' or 'timonerie' - I am never sure which is the correct word for the bridge.

CD CorkGreat Skua 2

Within minutes of us being on the bridge (barely enough time to get the clip boards out), a pair of Common Dolphins were racing into bow ride, giving us brief but superb views of them. This was a good sign of things to come, since this species spends the winter in the Channel. 

Soon after the Common Dolphin, we started to encounter seabirds, predominantly Gannets, Fulmars and Kittiwakes, with highlights being a Little Gull and a handful of impressive Great Skuas. Thereafter the trip was punctuated with views of auks and Back-Backed Gulls in pursuit of fishing vessels.

The cetacean watching was a little frustrating, as despite good light conditions the wind ruffled the water causing tiny whitecaps which made viewing of Harbour Porpoises challenging.  We know Harbour Porpoises can frequently be seen on this route, but their tiny size and undemonstrative behaviour make them difficult to spot unless the sea is mirror calm.

However as we approached the South coast of England we were rewarded with more views of a large pod of Common dolphins. This species is slightly larger than the porpoises and more demonstrative, making them easier to observe. With the crew also keeping a keen eye out, group after group started to come into the bows of the ship, energetically leaping and turning to bow ride.  It is always exciting to see these charismatic animals so close to the ship and we were privileged to encounter 47 animals during this survey.

Once again our thanks go to the staff and crew of the Armorique who made this a very enjoyable crossing.

Richard Price and Steve Hughes, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 8 October 2011

Posted 13 October 2011

Martin Gillingham, Rachael Stilgoe, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: NNW-WNW 3-4

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 15
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 4

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus  1
Gannet Morus bassanus 150
European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 10
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 6
Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 7
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 5
Razorbill Alca torda 72
Unidentified Auk species 32
Commic Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 1

Unidentified Pipit Sp 26

After a long drive through the Friday rush hour it was great to see the Port of Plymouth at around 20:30.  Following a smooth check in, we dropped our gear off in our cabins and went up on deck to watch the lights of Plymouth as we were departing. Soon after, we were asleep in our cabins as we were in for an early start in the morning.

The ship had a quick turnaround for this trip so there was no time to go into Roscoff, so we had an extra hour in bed.  We were welcomed onto the Bridge at 07:00 and prepared ourselves for a prompt 07:30 departure.

Razorbill 1

We recorded a good variety of birds on the crossing with Gannets and Razorbills being the most numerous.  Highlights were a Sooty Shearwater across the bow and several Strom Petrels.  These dainty little birds are always a delight to see.  We also managed to record an Arctic and 6 Great Skua.

The sea state of NW 3-4 was making cetacean spotting tricky but mid-channel we picked up some Gannets feeding in the distance.  This can be a good indicator that cetaceans are present and sure enough as we got closer we could pick out Common Dolphin feeding below them and leaping out of the water.  Very exciting, the spectacle passed down the starboard side.  The group contained several youngsters, apparent by their smaller size.

 Common Dolphin with calf 2

As we carried on north we continued to log a steady stream of seabirds and a southerly passage of migrating Pipits.  Then a few miles from the Plymouth breakwater, out of nowhere some backs broke the water close to the bow of the ship.  These turned out to be porpoise, which surfaced several times and then as quickly as they appeared they were gone.  A great way to finish the survey.

Once again our thanks go to the staff and crew of L'Armorique who made this a very enjoyable crossing.

Martin Gillingham and Rachael Stilgoe, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 6 September 2011

Posted 12 September 2011

Steve Hughes and Abby Bruce, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: SW 4-10; Poor visibility

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 1
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus 2
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 67
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 8
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Unidentified Shearwater Sp 2
Unidentified Auk Sp 1
Unidentified Gull Sp. 60

We set sail on the Armorique from a blustery Plymouth at 8am and got straight up on the bridge to set up for the survey. 

I had been on this route once before and seen Common Dolphin so had high hopes for this trip.  The friendly crew onboard the Armorique enjoyed sharing their past marine sightings with us.  They gave us information about where they normally see dolphin, approximately 20miles off Plymouth and the Roscoff shores.   We also discussed basking sharks which are sometimes seen more coastally.  The French crew described them as whale-like sharks with big mouths.  In French they are called 'Reqin Pelerin' which translates to pilgrim shark named for the vast amount of travelling they undertake to find food.  Unfortunately viewing conditions proved difficult and no cetaceans or sharks were seen on either leg of this trip.

However the birds kept us entertained and we enjoyed watching vast numbers of Gannets dive bombing the water hunting fish with their dagger like beaks.  It was a good opportunity to learn how to age this species, from the pure white adults with distinct black wing tips to the dark speckled juveniles.  The occasional Shearwater and Fulmar graced us with their presence skimming over the waves with ease.  A couple of Great Skua's passed us too, highlighting the difference between these heavier more powerful birds compared to the slender nimble shearwaters.  A solitary Shag was also recorded as we entered Roscoff harbour.  We surveyed all the way back until the light faded at approximately 8pm and at this point we thanked the crew and left the bridge.

Gannet ad 3Great Skua 2

Perhaps not the most successful survey, in terms of cetacean seen, but a good learning curve for a trainee surveyor.

Steve Hughes and Abby Bruce, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 9 August 2011

Posted 12 August 2011

Michael Bamford and Maggie Gamble, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 294+
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 19
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 176
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus 1 (juvenile)
Parasitic (Arctic) Skua Stercorarius parasiticus 1 (juvenile)
Skua sp. 1 (juvenile)
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 51
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans 2
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 22
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 80
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 6
Tern Sp. 3
Large Gull Sp. 200+

Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 1

Fulmar 10

MARINElife Surveyors' blog: Brittany Ferries 'Armorique' Plymouth to Roscoff survey 9th August 2011

It is the height of the holiday season, with a ship full of families and their cars, and an extra rapid turnaround in Roscoff allowing a survey on both legs of the trip.

We set off on time at 08.00, and were on the bridge before departure. The visibility was excellent, on a bright but seemingly just too windy day - the water was slightly choppy with whitecaps and as we got out into the channel a swell left over from the previous day's higher winds made viewing less than ideal.

We started with good expectations of possible sightings at this time of year - cetaceans, basking sharks, sunfish and migrating seabirds, were well on the cards. We had glimpses of 2 Harbour Porpoise. The seabirds were more obliging with several Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater, and some larger concentrations of Fulmars some in an interesting stage of moult. One of these groups was a flock of over 200, settled on the water in the wake of a trawler, but getting up in a tight flock as we approached. Juvenile skuas gave us an interesting challenge. A well seen Arctic skua had the narrow wings and characteristic buoyant twisting flight. Another brown skua with a deeper body and more direct flight, seemed much more likely to be a juvenile Pomarine Skua , and another on the water was indeterminate, but more probably again an Arctic Skua. A solitary Great Skua (Bonxie) also put in an appearance. Some larger gulls were on the move, with a large concentration of Great Black Backed Gulls outside Plymouth harbour.

Light was fading at 8.30 pm, as we approached Plymouth, and we therefore had to leave the bridge.

Once again we were very well looked after by the crew and staff of the Armorique, and though we tried some of our rudimentary spoken French, English remains very well spoken here!

Michael Bamford and Maggie Gamble, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 2-3 July 2011

Posted 04 July 2011

Maggie Gamble and Sharon Morris, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: Wind NE 2-3, Good visibility.

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1
Unidentified dolphin species 25 (distant group)

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 3
Gannet Morus bassanus 189
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 2
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 12
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 288
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 13
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 6
Great Skua Catharacta skua 1
Unidentified gull species 15

Swallow Hirundo rustica 1

Armorique Brittany Ferries

MARINElife Surveyors' blog: Brittany Ferries 'Armorique'
Plymouth to Roscoff survey 2nd to 3rd July 2011

The historic harbour of Plymouth looked superb in the summer sunshine during our mid-afternoon departure for Roscoff as we commenced this month's MARINElife survey.

We were welcomed to the Bridge just prior to departure so straight away we could begin surveying the birds of the harbour and its island. Clearing the breakwater we looked hopefully for Basking Shark where they had been seen on a previous survey but apparently they have moved along the coast to Cornish waters.

Thereafter the trip was punctuated with a succession of seabirds: many Gannets; Herring Gulls; Black-backed Gulls; Fulmars and a single piratical Great Skua, which makes a living by pursuing other seabirds for their catch. Seabirds like the Gannet can cover large distances as they patrol the oceans looking for food and it's always a thrill to watch these large beautiful birds diving after fish.

About two hours out from the French coast we saw the distinctive white water splashes of a fast moving school of a small dolphin species. Unfortunately on this occasion they seemed very intent on going somewhere very fast and didn't come close enough for positive identification but they were probably Common Dolphin. This is a species that loves to bow-ride ferries and other boats when it has some leisure time for such fun activities.

Approaching Roscoff we had a glimpse of a Harbour Porpoise; these small shy cetaceans with a tendency to avoid boats are often challenging to survey. It requires good light and calm conditions to see them at all and then it's a brief view of a small back and fin as they take a quick breath. I guess that is why, as MARINElife surveyors, we enjoy seeing them so much!

Finishing the survey it was time for a quick snack and then retire to our cabins for the overnight return trip.

As ever our thanks go to the staff and crew of the Armorique who make us welcome and enable us to continue these vital data-gathering surveys.

Maggie Gamble and Sharon Morris, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 4 June 2011

Posted 06 June 2011

Rick Morris, Doug Herdson, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: NE 1-3, Good visibility

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 4
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1
Unidentified Dolphin species 2

Ocean Sunfish Mola mola 1

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 8
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 4
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 5
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 20
Gannet Morus bassanus 105
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 4
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 58
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 12
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 2
Unidentified Gull species 10
Unidentified Auk species 1

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 1 May 2011

Posted 02 May 2011

Maggie Gamble, MARINElife Research Surveyor
Weather: N 4-6, Moderate visibility with occasional rain

Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus 1 (just outside the Plymouth breakwater and reportedly present for several days)

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 8
Gannet Morus bassanus 235
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 5
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 34
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 5
Black Tern Chlidonias niger 1
Puffin Fratercula arctica 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 3
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 5
Unidentified Shearwater species 1
Unidentified Auk species 3

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 16

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 9 April 2011

Posted 11 April 2011

Steve Hughes and Rick Morris, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 6
Gannet Morus bassanus 54
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 2
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 3
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Auk Sp. 2
Gull Sp. 9

MARINElife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 22 March 2011

Posted 24 March 2011

Michael Bamford, Richard Price, MARINElife Research Surveyors
Weather: NE-NNE 4-5

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 6 Bow-riding

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 42
Gannet Morus bassanus 191
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 7
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 17
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1
Little Gull Larus minutus 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 11
Puffin Fratercula arctica 5
Guillemot Uria aalge 4
Unidentified Large Gull species 250+
Unidentified Auk species 9

Turnstone Arenaria interpres 1
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1

Shag (©Michael Bamford/MARINElife)Great Skua (©Michael Bamford/MARINElife)Turnstone on Roscoff harbour (©Michael Bamford/MARINElife)

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 'Armorique' 22 February 2011

Posted 24 February 2011

Heather Fowle, Graham Oliver, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 3
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 37

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 151
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 10
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 37
Guillemot Uria aalge 12
Unidentified Auk Species 20
Unidentified Skua Species 1

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 3 October 2010

Posted 04 October 2010

Carol Greig, Kathryn Driscoll, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 11
Unidentified Dolphin species 1 (dead)

European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 322
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 9
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 5
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 6
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 7

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff 5 September 2010

Posted 06 September 2010

Michael Bamford, Graham Oliver, MARINElife Research Surveyors


Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata 4
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 86

Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 7
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus 5
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 8
Gannet Morus bassanus 322
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 7
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 13
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 12
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 1
Unidentified Large Gull Sp. 13

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 1 August 2010

Posted 02 August 2010

Heather Fowle, Sean Minns, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 4
Unidentified Whale species 1

Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 8
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 27
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 384
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 8
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Unidentified Gull species 1

Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1
Feral Pigeon Columba livia 1
Unidentified Egret species 7

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 4 July 2010

Posted 05 July 2010

Darren Fanner, Kevin Flanagan, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 1
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 27
Gannet Morus bassanus 232
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 12
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 15
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 3
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2
Unidentified Tern species 2
Unidentified Auk species 1
Unidentified Gull species 32

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 6 June 2010

Posted 07 June 2010

Heather Fowle, David Foot, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 16
Unidentified Dolphin species 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 14
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 46
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 2
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 427
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 2
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 69
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 18
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 24
Razorbill Alca torda 1
Feral Pigeon Columba livia 2
Unidentified Tern species 1

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 1 - 2 May 2010

Posted 03 May 2010

Michael Bamford, Vincent Green, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 22
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 193
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 7
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 9
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 9
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 10
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 6
Guillemot Uria aalge 10
Unidentified Tern species 4

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 4 April 2010

Posted 05 April 2010

John Down, Sharon Morris, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 3

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 92
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 49
Gannet Morus bassanus 141
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 9
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 5
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 12
Guillemot Uria aalge 6
Merlin Falco columbarius 1
Unidentified Auk species 10

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 5 March 2010

Posted 06 March 2010

Martin Gillingham, Rick Morris, Marinelife Research Surveyors
Weather: NE-NW 1-3

Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 13
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 24
Gannet Morus bassanus 128
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 80
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 22
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 23
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 35
Puffin Fratercula arctica 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 19
Razorbill Alca torda 7
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata 1
Unidentified Auk species 8

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 3 October 2009

Posted 04 October 2009

Hugh Venables, Steve Hughes, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 3
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 3
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus 2
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 9
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 5
Gannet Morus bassanus 304
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 12
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 5 September 2009

Posted 06 September 2009

Heather Fowle, David Foot, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 8 (probable)
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 11
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 12
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 1
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus 9
Gannet Morus bassanus 138
Parasitic (Arctic) Skua Stercorarius parasiticus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 10
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 50
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea 3
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 3

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 2 August 2009

Posted 03 August 2009

Darren Fanner, Ian Paynter, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata 1
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 3 (Possible)
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 7
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 15
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 3
Gannet Morus bassanus 149
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 39
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 17
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 15
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 4
Guillemot Uria aalge 3
Unidentified Gull species 11

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 6 June 2009

Posted 07 June 2009

Hugh Venables, Marinelife Research Surveyor

Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 8

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 8
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 51
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 294
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 679
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 6
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 7
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 1

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 2 May 2009

Posted 03 May 2009

Darren Fanner, Marinelife Research Surveyor

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 13
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 111
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 4
Guillemot Uria aalge 3
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 3
Unidentified Auk species 1
Unidentified Gull species 6

Marinelife Survey Report: Plymouth-Roscoff ferry 4 April 2009

Posted 05 April 2009

Duncan Fyfe, David Chilcott, Marinelife Research Surveyors

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 12

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 109
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 19
Gannet Morus bassanus 374
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 11
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 6
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 28
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 6
Guillemot Uria aalge 56
Razorbill Alca torda 11
Unidentified Shearwater species 1
Unidentified Tern species 2
Unidentified Auk species 26
Unidentified Gull species 111