MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: Condor Ferries ‘Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey 27 May 2015

MARINElife wildlife Officer: Christine Arnold

Weather:
Outward - sunny, dry with light winds, good visibility but some glare.
Return - more cloud, dry with slightly stronger winds, good visibility.

Summary of sightings:

Seabirds:
Canada Goose
Shelduck
Gannet
Cormorant
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Razorbill

Terrestrial birds:
Feral Pigeon
Raven

This was my first trip representing MARINElife as a Wildlife Officer in partnership with Condor Ferries and also my first visit to Guernsey. The aim of the trip was to look for cetaceans and seabirds, whilst interacting with the passengers to educate them about the species that can be found in the English Channel.

After departing from Poole a good range of species were seen on the lagoon on Brownsea Island. These included Herring, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gull, Cormorants, tern sp., Shelduck, Canada Goose and Raven.

Gannet Christine Arnold 01
Gannet (Christine Arnold)

The English Channel was calm and the public and I were able to see many Gannets flying quite low over the water. On approaching Alderney we had good views of the Ortac Gannet colony, the white covered rock really standing out in the clear weather.

Just after we passed Ortac we saw two Razorbills flying separately alongside the vessel.  Their wings a blur with the effort they put into flying.

In St Peter Port there were the usual Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

On the journey back more passengers were out on the deck and able to enjoy the views of the Ortac Gannet colony. It became quite a talking point especially as the Gannets could be seen cirling round the top and landing gracefully in the water. The rocks looked from a distance like they may have been covered in snow but actually they were white with birds and guano.

Ortac Christine Arnold 2015 05
Ortac Gannet colony (Christine Arnold)

Unfortunately we did not have any cetaceans on this trip.

All in all a very interesting and memorable trip and I am looking forward to enjoying another one again soon. Many thanks to Condor Ferries for welcoming me aboard.

If you like the sound of joining one of our trips down to Guernsey, then you can book online here