Sightings Archives: May 2014

MARINElife survey report: Condor Ferries ‘Commodore Goodwill’ Portsmouth – Jersey, 19th-20th May 2014

Posted 24 May 2014

Rick Morris and Simon Boswell, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Summary of Weather and Species Recorded

Weather: Overcast with southerly wind, force 3, sea state 3.


Gannet Morus bassanus 29
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 4
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 6
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 12
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 21
Common Guillemot Uria aalge 2
Razorbill Alca torda 2

Terrestrial Birds

Swallow Hirundo rustica 1

After arriving at the terminal, we were promptly driven onto the 'Commodore Goodwill'. After settling in, we sat down to enjoy a great three course meal which was generously provided by Condor Ferries. Captain Roger Thomson came to introduce himself and to explain the ship's procedures. He told us that after breakfast the next day he would take us up to the bridge.

Gannet Rick Morris 08

Gannet (Photo by Rick Morris)

In the morning, Simon popped up to the top outer deck, where he saw Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Shag, Black-headed Gull and Chiffchaff. After breakfast, we went up to the bridge to commence our survey. Conditions were overcast with a sea state of 3, but, thankfully, no rain. The crew informed us that they had seen around 30 dolphins the day before as they headed out of the bay, but alas we did not see any cetaceans on the crossing. Seabird numbers were quite low throughout, with sporadic sightings of nine seabird species and a solitary Swallow.

Captain Thomas

Captain Thomas (Photo by Rick Morris)

Even though the crossing was quiet, the route has good potential and the 'Commodore Goodwill' is an excellent ship to survey from. The Solent was busy on our return and upon reaching the Nab tower, we concluded our survey. Our thanks to Captain Thomson and his crew for their help and to Condor Ferries for supporting MARINElife.


Rick Morris and Simon Boswell, Research Surveyors for MARINElife