MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey 7 June 2018

MARINElife/Guernsey WLO Annalisa Renee

Weather: Outbound - Overcast, light NE wind, sea state 2, good visibility
Return - Overcast with occ. rain, moderate NE wind, sea state 3, good visibility

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals:
Harbour Porpoise 3

Seabirds:
Goosander
Fulmar
Gannet
Cormorant
Shag
Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Yellow legged Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Guillemot

As we left Poole Harbour for Guernsey many Shag and Cormorant were spotted within the harbour and a male Goosander was seen at the wetland nature reserve on Brownsea Island. Out past the harbour a young Gannet flew alongside the boat for a while giving passengers a fairly close look at a 3 yr old bird.

Goosander Peter Howlett 01
Goosander (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Out in the Channel we came across a few Guillemot resting on the water and also several groups of between a dozen and 20 Black-headed Gull were seen flying or in rafts. A large raft of about 50 mixed gulls came into view well out to sea, it included Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Yellow-legged Gull!

Gannet Peter Howlett 32
3rd year Gannet (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

On leaving Guernsey 3 Harbour porpoise were sighted surfacing just outside the harbour - our only cetacean sighting on this trip. A solitary Swift was seen flying south on the return journey and a Fulmar glided past in the ferry's wake on its fine straight wings. On passing Ortac, the rocks white with guano from the Gannet breeding colony, many hundreds of Gannet were visible. Throughout the crossing many more Gannets, of all ages, were seen flying, along with groups of gulls.

Many thanks to Condor Ferries and the crew of the Condor Liberation for the support and assistance given.