Steve Boswell and Kevin Waterfall, Research
Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: Wind north-east force 5 most of the day swinging round to south-west force 2 late afternoon. Sea state 5 decreasing to 3. Full cloud cover and occasional rain.
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncates 8
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 1
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 4
Gannet Morus bassanus 71
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 9
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 5
Herring Gull Larus argetatus 83
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 6
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 12
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2
We met at 17.45 at the Portsmouth ferry terminal where we were soon taken on board the Commodore Goodwill. Our cabins were allocated and then we enjoyed a three-course meal before going up to the bridge and introducing ourselves to Captain Pielich. We then returned to our cabins to sleep in preparation for our early start.
Sunrise at 05.00 gave us the opportunity to survey for one hour before our arrival in Jersey. No Cetaceans were seen but a lovely view of a Manx Shearwater drifting across the bow was a nice start to the day.
Manx Shearwater (Peter Howlett)
After a large breakfast we had time to scan the harbour area producing amongst the usual sightings a flock of 24 Swift over Elizabeth Castle, a Rock Pipit on the harbour wall plus a Little Egret feeding on the low tide. We watched the Condor Rapide arrive from St Malo before leaving our birth on time for our return sail for Portsmouth.
15 minutes out of port we saw a solitary Gannet circling low over the water and on further investigation saw a Bottlenose Dolphin leaping out of the water. We then watched a total of eight giving excellent views swimming around the bow.
Bottlenose Dolphin (Peter Howlett)
We continued into the Channel where bird numbers decreased as we headed away from the Islands. Best of the sightings were three more Manx Shearwater, Fulmar and Kittiwake.
As we approached Portsmouth we thanked Captain Pielich and his crew for looking after us and upon arrival we were swiftly taken to the terminal.