Janet Shepherd and Francesco Germi: Research Surveyors for
South bound: N 6/7 North bound: NE - W 2-5
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus 1
Dolphin sp 6
Eider Somateria mollissima 1
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 6
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis 1
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 169
Gannet Morus bassanus 117
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 6
Common Gull Larus canus 54
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 258
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 46
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 83
Puffin Fratercula arctica 7
Guillemot Uria aalge 125
Razorbill Alca torda 7
Brent Goose Branta bernicla 15
Unidentified Diver Sp 48
Unidentified Auk Sp 74
Unidentified Petrel Sp 1
Gull Sp 725
Thrush sp Turdus 1
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 15
Starling Sturnus vulgaris 4
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 73
After checking in at Rosyth Docks we were escorted onto the ship and shown our cabins. The ship departed at 0400 and the survey started at first light. Fulmar and Guillemot were seen throughout the voyage with smaller numbers of Gannet, Puffin, Kittiwake and larger gulls.
A highlight for the team was a brief sighting of two dolphins although the view was too brief to identify which species they were. The dolphins were accompanied by a number of Gannet and Fulmar. A thrush flew in front of the vessel as did a female Eider.
The return journey gave a different perspective with many more sightings of birds. There were good numbers of divers and Herring and Common Gull off the coast of Zeebrugge.
Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Mallard and Grey Heron were also seen early in the voyage and later three flocks of Lapwing were seen flying west. We logged far more Gannet in the southern North Sea compared to the previous day in more northerly waters. There were few seabirds in the shallow waters off the Humber on both days.
The fair seas of the return leg also improved the possibility of seeing cetaceans. Frustratingly, the four that were seen were travelling directly away from the ship and we were unable to clinch their identification.
Thanks again to the most helpful DFDS staff ashore and on the ship, a special thank you to Captain Jamieson and his crew for making us so welcome.
Janet Shepherd and Francesco Germi: Research Surveyors for MARINElife