MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey 12th October

MARINElife/Guernsey WLO Glynis Northwood-Long

Weather:   Outward- Overcast with showers and Easterly wind 5-6, sea state moderate with good visibility.
Inbound - Sunny spells and showers with Easterly wind 5-6, sea state moderate with good visibility.

Summary of Species seen:

Cetaceans: No sightings

Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Black-headed Gull

Other water birds:
Little Egret

This trip was my last one for this year as a Wildlife Officer on the Liberation and I was forever hopeful that the cetaceans would be kind to me and make an appearance.

After checking in at the ferry terminal, I boarded the Liberation and as it was early, I decided to have a tasty breakfast from Casquettes Bistro. However, as the Liberation departed ahead of schedule, following the announcement that a Wildlife Officer was on board, I quickly had to dash up to the viewing deck.

As we sailed through Poole Harbour, Cormorant and varieties of Gull could be seen on the buoys in the main channel. Several passengers approached me as they had heard the announcement and were interested in spotting local wildlife. I pointed out Brownsea Island and its lagoon to them where we were able to see different wading birds including Avocet, Spoonbill, Little Egret and Oystercatcher.  

After passing the spectacular sight of Old Harry Rocks, bird sightings decreased and as the passengers had gone inside, I took a break for coffee. Later, back on the viewing deck, we approached Alderney, but at this time of year most of the Gannet had departed the colony on Ortac.

Old Harry Rocks Rick Morris









Old Harry Rocks (Archive photo: Rick Morris)

On arriving at St Peters Port, it was such a lovely sunny day for mid-October. Guernsey was still in bloom with the colourful floral displays along the esplanade. I walked along to the Castle breakwater where I had a great view of the Liberation departing for Jersey.

Floral display Guernsey Glynis Northwood-Long

Liberation Glynis Northwood-Long

Flowers (Photo: GNL)                                         Condor Liberation (Photo: Glynis Northwood-Long)

I continued to the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater where I had my lunch, watched by a cheeky Black-headed Gull. I stayed there until it was time to return to the ferry terminal, watching the comings and goings in the harbour and being entertained by the antics of a juvenile shag diving for it's lunch.

BH Gull Glynis Northwood-LongJuv Shag Glynis Northwood-Long

Black-headed Gull (Photo: Glynis Northwood-Long)      Shag (Photo: Glynis Northwood-Long)

Back on the Liberation on the return journey, whilst it was still sunny, several people remained on the viewing deck and we chatted about MARINElife. Unfortunately, the swell and white caps on the sea made it difficult to spot any cetaceans and we didn't see any on this trip.

As we sailed back into Poole, we were treated to a lovely sunset over the harbour, silhouetting several deer along the edge of lagoon.

Thanks to Condor Ferries and the crew of the Condor Liberation for making me welcome on board and for their support to MARINElife.

MARINElife/Guernsey WLO Glynis Northwood-Long