MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey 29 May 2018

MARINElife Wildlife Officers: Terry & Donna Bridgwood

Weather: wind NE 2-4, sea state slight, fair with good visibility and some mist.

Summary of sightings:

Seabirds
Black-headed Gull
Cormorant
Roseate Tern
Great Black-backed Gull
Gannet

Terrestrial birds
Swift
Crow

We set of from home for the trip down to Poole. The journey was pleasant enough with slightly more traffic than usual as it was a later crossing.

Upon arrival at the ferry terminal we checked in and boarded. Once on board we found our seats and grabbed a delicious cheese and bacon roll, washed down with a cup of tea. We went a saw the cabin manager, handed over the passenger announcement, collected the WLO tabards and headed up on deck. We took our usual positions on the upper deck, starboard side just aft of the bridge. This position gives good visibility with a bit of shelter from the wind.

From the berth, past Brownsea Island to Old Harry Rocks we were able to identify some Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls and the usual Cormorants drying their wings. A Crow flew past and we saw 2 bumble bees. Passing the chain ferry, around Studland we were lucky enough to spot a Roseate Tern and passing Old Harry Rocks a Gannet.

During the passage to Guernsey we met a couple of people that were going to Jersey to write a feature about Scuba diving in Jersey for Diver magazine. We had a good old chat with them and then I asked if they could take a picture of the lady talking to Donna and looking for wildlife. Hopefully it might make it into the feature.

We saw some Razorbills rafting and a couple of Swifts flew by.

Ortac rock was covered with Gannet as usual, they were getting up to all sorts: flying, diving, rafting, resting and feeding - there is always something to see at Ortac.

We arrived at Guernsey and disembarked. Our few hours ashore were spent window shopping and wandering to the Terrace Garden Café where we had lunch. Sitting outside on the terrace we had a good view of the marina.

All to soon it was time to board the ferry for the journey back to Poole. There were fewer people on deck on the return, everyone seemed to be snoozing. As we were a later sailing we didn't have as much daylight and so were able to take our seats for a rest ourselves.

Disembarking at Poole we retrieved our car and drove home.