MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: Condor Ferries ‘Vitesse’ Weymouth-Guernsey 15 October 2014

Ellen Last Wildlife Officer for MARINElife

Outward - dry with quite strong winds. Grey clouds meant visibility reduced.
Return - rain during departure from Guernsey but soon stopped. Quite strong winds.

Summary of sightings

Great Skua Stercorarius skua
Gannet Morus bassanus
Sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Auk sp.

After departing Weymouth a few auks were seen but after this the crossing was fairly quiet with only sightings being some Gannet and Great Skua. The grey clouds meant conditions were quite gloomy, but fortunately it didn't rain! Unfortunately the sea state was slightly too choppy for cetacean spotting as well. On arrival in Guernsey there were only a few Cormorant to be seen around the harbour.

Little Chapel Guernsey Ellen Last
Little Chapel, Guernsey (Ellen Last)

We had 4 hours on Guernsey before the return crossing which meant I had sufficient time to catch a bus out to the Little Chapel. It was built using pieces of broken china and is only 5m long and 3m wide. It has a number of little rooms below the main chapel area so was fascinating to look around! Unfortunately it began raining as soon as I got off the bus and continued for the rest of the afternoon, which meant I got pretty wet waiting for the bus back to St Peter Port!

On the return crossing back to Weymouth it was extremely quiet for birds with only sightings of a few Gannet and a Great Skua. As we crossed the shipping lane in the Channel we went past a number of vessels, so we ended up doing some ship spotting, finding the one of which had 'Greenland' written on it! As we came past Portland the sighting of a Sooty Shearwater provided a little excitement to round off the trip.

Sooty Shearwater Peter Howlett 02
Sooty Shearwater (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

Many thanks to Condor Ferries for welcoming us onboard and to the passengers who joined me for the MARINElife day trip. This was the last trip of the year but we will be continuing the day trips next year, so keep an eye out for information on these on the MARINElife and Condor websites!