MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘Condor Ferries ‘Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey 10 June 2015

MARINElife/Guernsey WLO Julie Hatcher

Weather
Outward: sunny, dry with strong breeze, good visibility but some glare from the sun
Return: sunny and dry with very strong winds

Summary of sightings

Seabirds:
Gannet
Cormorant
European Shag Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Common Tern

As we left Poole Harbour we watched a stream of Common Terns flying in and out on feeding forays for their chicks on Brownsea Island. A mixture of gulls were also spotted along with several Cormorants sat in their characteristic pose drying their wings.

Gannet Peter Howlett 18
Gannet (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

Heading away from the coast we quickly left the clouds behind, enjoying the sunshine tempered by a stiff breeze. A number of solitary Gannets passed by the ship swooping low over the waves as we headed for Guernsey. The number of these increased as we approached the Channel Islands and we passed close to their breeding colony on the rocky outcrop of Ortac, which was quite a spectacle.

As we entered the harbour at Guernsey more gulls and several Shags could be seen.

St Peter Port Julie Hatcher June 2015
St Peter Port, Guernsey (Julie Hatcher)

For the return trip the breeze had increased. Another good view of the Gannet colony and the foraging birds indicated that we were leaving the Channel Islands behind. Feeling slightly sunburnt and windswept we retired to the Horizon Lounge with its panoramic forward views for the last part of the trip. Despite the uninterrupted views we did not manage to spot any dolphins on this trip. We did however have fantastic views of the Dorset coast, Old Harry Rocks and Poole Harbour to end a very enjoyable day.

Thanks to Condor Ferries and the crew of the Condor Liberation for their support and assistance.