MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘Condor Liberation’ Poole-Guernsey May 29 2019

MARINElife/Guernsey WLO Christine Roberts

Weather: Overcast with spells of rain, wind SW 4 on outward journey, SW 4-5 on return, visibility  variable.

Summary of sightings:

Cetaceans:
Dolphin sp.

Seabirds:
Shag
Sandwich Tern
Black-headed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Fulmar
Gannet
Auk sp.
Oystercatcher

Having collected my boarding pass and passed security, we quickly made the short transfer to the waiting ship. Despite the grey weather conditions there were plenty of people enjoying the incredible vista of Poole Harbour offered by the viewing deck of the Condor Liberation. From this vantage point some passengers were lucky to see 2 groups of dolphins as we left the harbour as well as Shag, Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull in good numbers.

BH Gull Peter Howlett 04
Black-headed Gull (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

As we sailed past Brownsea lagoon we spotted Shelduck and Sandwich Tern and also a large Barrel jellyfish washed up on the shore. The outward journey was smooth and as we passed Alderney, there were some great views of the Gannet colony on Ortac. On arrival in Guernsey the increasing rain changed my plans for the time ashore and after a short walk along the nearby beaches, I headed for some retail therapy. Guernsey's fabulous shops offered a wonderful variety of shopping opportunities and my time ashore passed by far too quickly.

Sandwich Tern Rob Petley-Jones 03
Sandwich Tern (Library photo: Rob Petley-Jones)

Back on ship and after some initial fog and mist as we departed the Channel Islands, the visibility improved, enabling views of more Gannets. As Old Harry Rocks came into view, we began to see Sandwich Tern diving and also Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull.  Sadly, we saw no sign of the lone Bottlenose Dolphin who has been frequently seen in the harbour over the past few weeks. Maybe next time!

Thanks to Condor Ferries and the crew of the Condor Liberation for the support and assistance.