MARINElife blog: Condor Ferries ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Jersey 25 April 2015

Nick Adams and Simon Hartill, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Weather: Mostly cloudy with patches of fog and occasional showers. Sea state 2-3, wind light southwesterly.

Summary of species recorded:

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

Seabirds
Fulmar  Fulmarus glacialis 3
Manx Shearwater  Puffinus puffinus 3
Gannet  Morus bassanus 129
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 2
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus 314
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus 3
Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus 71
Guillemot  Uria aalge 15
Razorbill  Alca torda 2
Auk sp. 7

Terrestrial Birds
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 26
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 1
Swallow Hirundo rustica 6

We picked up our tickets and boarded the ship with the rest of the foot passengers, we introduced ourselves to the Services Manager who kindly offered to take us to the bridge once we were out of the harbour.

Ortac Rock Nick Adams 2015 01
Gannet colony on Ortac Rock (Nick Adams)

This gave us a chance to look around the ship, this was the first MARINELife survey on the Liberation, it having replaced the catamarans that ran from Weymouth.

We were soon on the bridge and having had a brief chat with the welcoming crew we were started our survey.

We had a steady flow of seabird sightings as we neared Alderney with Gannet being the most numerous, we soon realised why!

We soon reached the Channel Islands and whilst commuting between Guernsey and Jersey we picked up both Harbour Porpoise and Common Dolphin as well as a few Manx Shearwater loafing on the sea.

Common Dolphin Peter Howlett 04
COmmon Dolphin (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

Seabirds kept coming for the rest of our journey, mostly gulls and Gannets, but also a sprinkling of Guillemot and Razorbill. A few Swallow were racing us back to England and the final bird of the survey was a Whimbrel heading into Poole harbour.

We concluded our survey on arrival at Old harry Rocks and thanked the Captain and his staff for their hospitality before heading off the bridge.