MARINElife Training Survey Report: Condor Ferries Liberation Poole-Jersey 14 May 2018

Steve McAusland, Rachel Keay and Donna Bridgwood; Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Weather:   Sunny, SW winds with a sea state of 1-4 during the sailings.

Summary of sightings:

Seabirds
Storm Petrel  Hydrobates pelagicus 2
Manx Shearwater  Puffinus puffinus 13
Fulmar  Fulmarus glacialis 2
Gannet  Morus bassanus 140
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 3
Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3
Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus 1
Great Skua  Stercorarius skua 1
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus 13
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus 3
Sandwich Tern  Sterna sandvicensis 3
Guillemot  Uria aalge 1
Puffin  Fratercula arctica 2
Gull sp. 97
Tern sp.   19
Auk sp.  2

This was my first training survey as a team leader, we are very grateful for Condor Ferries' support for these as it enables us to have a team leader and two trainees on board rather than the usual team of two.

We met at the ferry terminal in Poole and were joined by Terry Bridgwood (Donna's husband) who was onboard as MARINElife Wildlife Officer for the day. Once on board I made contact with the crew and we all awaited access to the bridge and Terry to the decks.

Donna and Rachel surveying
Donna and Rachel surveying (Steve McAusland)

As we set up on the ship's starboard wing I ran through the bridge protocols and instruments before commencing the survey. The weather was great with superb visibility and plenty of birds were seen throughout the survey.

Our first leg of the survey was from Poole to Guernsey where we stopped for a short while as some of the passengers disembarked. We were soon leaving Guernsey and heading towards Jersey.

Puffin Steve McAusland 03
Puffin (Library photo: Steve McAusland)

We remained on board in Jersey and were soon surveying as we left St Helier harbour. An hour later we arrived back at Guernsey and then it was on to Poole for the final part of the survey. As the ship maneuvered its way through Poole harbour we saw Glynis Northwood-Long a fellow MARINElife surveyor following the ship in a small but speedy vessel.

Highlights during the day were Great Skua, Puffin, Manx Shearwater and Storm Petrel.

We thanked Captain Giles and his crew for supporting our ongoing training and for making us welcome.