Steve Boswell and Keith Morgan, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)
Weather: Wind NE force 3 with excellent visibility throughout the trip
Summary of species recorded:
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 8
Gannet Morus bassanus 127
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 7
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 7
Common Gull Larus canus 2
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 18
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 3
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 4
Guillemot Uria aalge 7
Razorbill Alca torda 6
Auk sp. 12
Swallow Hirundo rustica 2
We were escorted aboard the Commodore Goodwill where we were allocated our cabins and then enjoyed our evening meal before retiring.
After a large cooked breakfast we went on deck to see what birds were present in the harbour. We saw 2 Little Egret, a few Oystercatcher displaying loudly, 2 Great Black-backed Gull and 8 Brent Geese lingering before their journey to their breeding grounds.
Bottlenose Dolphin (Archive photo: Adrian Shephard)
We made our way to the bridge and met Captain Zelazny and his crew. The captain informed us that as the ship had entered the harbour at sunrise and he had seen a pod of dolphins. Sure enough 20 minutes after departing we had great views of 8 Bottlenose Dolphin which approached close to the bow.
Gannet were the most numerous bird seen on our route back to Portsmouth, all adults. Two Swallow swept passed the bridge nearly at the end of their long journey. A lovely adult Mediterranean Gull was seen in the entrance to Portsmouth harbour.
Mediterranean Gull (Archive photo: Martin Gillingham)
We concluded our survey on arrival back in Portsmouth and thanked the Captain and his crew for their hospitality before heading ashore.