MARINElife Survey Report: Rosyth-Zeebrugge "Clipper Point" 7 - 9 December 2012

Janet Shepherd and Francesco Germi: Research Surveyors for MARINElife
South bound: N 6/7  North bound: NE - W 2-5 

Marine Mammals
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

Terrestrial Birds
Thrush sp  Turdus   1
Mallard   Anas platyrhynchos   15
Starling   Sturnus vulgaris    4
Grey Heron   Ardea cinerea    1
Lapwing   Vanellus vanellus   73

Kittiwake 2After 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.

Common GullLong-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