Sightings Archives: February 2017

MARINElife Survey Report: DFDS Seaways ‘Finlandia Seaways’ Rosyth-Zeebrugge 11 - 12 February 2017

Posted 14 February 2017

Vincent Green and Peter Crossley surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: Winds from the east with sea states varying from 1-5

Marine Mammals
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 3
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Fulmar  Fulmarus glacialis 16
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 1
Gannet  Morus bassanus 82
Common Gull Larus canus 4
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus 9
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus 8
Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus 10
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 35
Puffin  Fratercula arctica 2
Guillemot  Uria aalge 76
Razorbill  Alca torda 25
Diver sp. 2
Shearwater sp. 4
Gull sp. 8
Auk sp.  182

Terrestrial Birds
Swallow Hirundo rustica 1

After a decent drive from the heart of Yorkshire to the Port of Rosyth, we arrived early and explored Dunfermline whilst waiting to board DFDS Finlandia Seaways at around 10.30pm. We were, as always, welcomed aboard and escorted from the port staff onto the ship.

With an early start the following day we managed to get some sleep and the next morning had a bite to eat before going up to the bridge to begin the survey. We were lucky and the weather was fair for the first leg of the journey and we managed to clock up a good few of the usual bird species and logged a good number, nothing spotted in the water but as always we never gave up hope.

common dolphin Peter Howlett 23

Common Dolphin (Peter Howlett)

We got plenty of sleep that night and it was on our return journey north is when all of the excitement happened. Not long into the journey we saw our first Common Dolphin leisurely swimming by on the starboard side. With plenty of bird sightings on the way it was only a matter of time before we had our next sighting and after a fifty minute wait another one went by.

A couple of hours later we were watching two Great Black-backed Gull catching fish right in front of the ship when, a few seconds later, a Harbour Porpoise rolled on by, it was surprisingly close to the ship and quickly disappeared heading in a westerly direction.

Harbour Porpoise Peter Howlett 20

Harbour Porpoise (Peter Howlett)

A mere hour after the Harbour Porpoise and having been spotting more Fulmar, Gannet and Guillemot, we then saw another Common Dolphin passing by the ship.

We enjoyed a leisurely trip and many thanks to Captain Julius Nagaitis and his crew, who really looked after us and made us very welcome.

I really enjoyed this trip and the sightings made it even better.

Vincent Green and Peter Crossley surveyors for MARINElife