Sightings Archives: February 2015

Condor Ferries (Commodore Goodwill) Portsmouth – Jersey (3rd February 2015)

Posted 09 February 2015

Peter Jones and Sean Graham, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Summary of Weather and Species Recorded

Weather: Good visibility throughout, with a sea state of 3-4, and very little swell.

Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) 1 plus 2 probable

Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) 1
Black-throated Diver (Gavia arctica) 2
Red-throated Diver (Gavia Stellata) 6
Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) 3
Gannet (Morus bassanus) 98
Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) 22
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) 2
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) 1
Common Gull (Larus canus) 46
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 3
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 4
Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) 79
Guillemot (Uria aalge)144
Razorbill (Alca torda) 2
Auk sp.  11
Gull sp. 1

We met at the ferry terminal in Portsmouth and were speedily escorted onto the ship. After a very nice meal, we headed to our cabins for the overnight crossing to Jersey.

After breakfast the following morning, we were invited onto the Bridge and began our survey as we departed Jersey in reasonably calm conditions.

Initial sightings close to the coast were dominated by Shag, Common Gull and Great Black-backed Gull. Once we headed further out to sea sightings included Fulmar, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, our first Gannet sighting of the day and a single male Common Scoter.

Shag Graham Ekins 02

Shag (Archive photo: Graham Ekins)

Guillemot, Kittiwake, and Gannet continued to dominate the sightings with nice views of six winter plumaged Red-throated Diver.

Kittiwake Peter Howlett 04

Kittiwake (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

A Harbour Porpoise was seen very briefly as it surfaced right in front of the ship and, an hour later, another brief sighting of two animals which were probably Harbour Porpoise.

Harbour Porpoise Peter Howlett 15

Harbour porpoise (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

Bird sightings continued with a Great Skua, and a sizeable raft of Guillemot and Kittiwake which were being harassed by a second Great Skua.

We approached the Isle of Wight with further sightings of Kittiwake, Gannet and Guillemot, before our final highlight of two Black-throated Diver, and a flock of 29 Common Gull

We concluded our survey on arrival back in Portsmouth and thanked the Captain and his staff for their hospitality before heading ashore.


Peter Jones and Sean Graham, Research Surveyors for MARINElife