Weymouth or Poole-Channel Islands

Sightings Archives: March 2014

MARINElife blog: Condor Ferries (Condor Vitesse)

Posted 20 March 2014

MARINElife blog: Condor Ferries (Condor Vitesse) Weymouth - Jersey 15th March 2014

John Down and Dave Foot, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather:    Moderate Westerly wind.  Force 3-5, Sea state mostly 3-4, good visibility with little glare.

Summary of species recorded

Marine mammals:
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Seabirds:
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis  1
Gannet Morus bassanus  45
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua  1
Mediterranean Gull  Larus melanocephalus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus argenteus  7
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus  1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus  6
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Guillemot Uria aalge  38
Razorbill Alca torda  13
Auk sp 12

We were welcomed aboard by friendly staff in Weymouth and our departure was 15 minutes ahead of schedule. We joined the bridge to begin the survey as Portland Bill slipped past on our right. Visibility was good and the sea state only 3.

Mediterranean gull small

We saw small numbers of Auks on the sea and some passing Gannet until about half an hour out from Guernsey when an immature Kittiwake flew east and we noticed a Great Skua resting on the water.

At about this time a Harbour Porpoise showed itself briefly. A Merlin was spotted well out over the sea which was probably migrating.

A brief stop at Guernsey allowed us time for lunch before we continued the survey to Jersey. We added a few Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls on this leg and there was a Lesser Black-backed Gull outside Jersey Harbour. The return to Guernsey was uneventful.

 

 

 

Mediterranean Gull, photo by Mike Bamford

 

Guillemot Lee SlaterOn the final survey towards Weymouth the wind and sea state had increased a little but we still spotted a Mediterranean Gull flying purposefully north and a Fulmar before ending as the light faded back at Portland.

We were able to thank the Captain and crew and disembark on time back in Weymouth.

 

 

 

 

 

Guilliemot, photo by Lee Slater

 

John Down and Dave Foot, Research Surveyors for MARINElife