Weymouth or Poole-Channel Islands

Sightings Archives: December 2015

MARINElife blog: Condor Ferries ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Jersey 12 December 2015

Posted 16 December 2015

Christine Arnold and David Doxford, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Weather: Generally good, wind SW force 4 and sea state moderate  Cloudy start with one spell of light rain then clearing, visibility generally good.

Summary of sightings
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 13
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 1
Gannet Morus bassanus 5
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 6
Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 11
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 9
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 8
Razorbill  Alca torda 15
Juvenile gulls Larus sp. 3

Terrestrial Birds
Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna 20
Spoonbill  Platalea leucorodia 20
Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica 100+

We were swiftly escorted aboard by the friendly Condor Ferries staff and left slightly ahead of schedule. We were immediately invited to the bridge to start our survey.  Captain Giles Wade welcomed us to his ship and showed us where to set up.

Fulmar Peter Howlett 09
Fulmar (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

We were able to start our survey immediately the ship left its berth.  As we slid out of Poole harbour we had a great view of Spoonbill and a large flock of Bar-tailed Godwit in Brownsea Island lagoon.

As we headed on towards Jersey, we saw numerous Razorbill, Fulmar, Gannet and Kittiwakes.  Approaching Guernsey, a Balearic Shearwater did a skidding loop off the starboard bow (seemingly eyeing us up) before disappearing astern. A real highlight.

Balearic Shearwater Tom Brereton 06a
Balearic Shearwater (Archive photo: Tom Brereton)

Due to the season we could only survey on the outward leg so we spent the return trip entering data and typing up our notes.

On arrival back in Poole (ahead of schedule!) we thanked the Captain and his staff for their hospitality before heading ashore.