MARINElife survey report: Condor Ferries ‘Commodore Goodwill’ Portsmouth – Jersey, 20th-21st January 2014

Carol Farmer-Wright and Maggie Gamble, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Wind: SW to SE, 3-4 with up to 1 metre of swell. Mainly clear skies and good visibility.

Summary of Species Recorded

Marine Mammals:
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 32
Gannet Morus bassanus 59
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 5
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 37
Common Gull Larus canus 13
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 23
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 2
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 1
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus 1
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
Guillemot Uria aalge 26
Razorbill Alca torda 7
Little Auk Alle alle 1
Auk Sp. 28
Gull Sp. 2

Other birds seen at sea:
Shoveler Anas clypeata 3


We were rapidly escorted aboard, by the friendly and helpful Condor Ferries staff and after some splendid peppered steak and chips, we headed to our cabins for the overnight outward crossing. Awaking early, we had time for the novelty of a leisurely breakfast, due to the lack of daylight (at this time of year) for surveying before docking in Jersey. As we prepared to leave port, we were welcomed onto the bridge to begin surveying.  Leaving St Helier, we had great views of the Jersey coastline and the Corbiere Lighthouse where Bottlenose Dolphin have been recorded.

CorbiereLighthouse CFW
Corbiere Lighthouse (Photo: Carol Farmer-Wright)

Heading into the Channel for the return crossing, seabirds welcomed us with a number of different species of gull plus a few Gannet, Auk and Great Skua.  Later on, we encountered a tight flock of wheeling Fulmar and close scanning of the surrounding area yielded a single Harbour Porpoise.

Great Skua CFW

Great Skua (Photo: Carol Farmer-Wright)

This is a pleasant route, which promises well for future sightings in an under-recorded area. We concluded our survey shortly after passing the Nab tower and thanked Captain Zelazny Rad and his crew for their hospitality before heading ashore.

Surveying CFW

The Bridge (Photo: Carol Farmer-Wright)

Carol Farmer-Wright and Maggie Gamble, Research Surveyors for MARINElife