MARINElife Survey Report: Condor Ferries ‘Commodore Goodwill’ Portsmouth-Jersey 10 April 2019

Stephen Hedley and Mike Mackay, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)

Weather: Wind N force 4-5, sea state 2-3, visibility poor to moderate

Summary of sightings

Guillemot Uria aalge 7
Gannet  Morus bassanus 32
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 13
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 2
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus 6
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2
Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus 1
Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis 2
Auk sp. 2

We had a good overnight crossing to Jersey and next morning following a nice breakfast we were permitted on the bridge. Whilst in St. Helier harbour we spotted 2 Oystercatcher flying by, a Great Black-Backed Gull on the nearby pier and a Cormorant diving in the harbour.

Cormorant Peter Howlett 03
Cormorant (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Following departure our first sighting was a group of 9 Cormorant, plus a Great Black-Backed Gull, crowded onto a large stack just off the shore. Several more Cormorant were then seen flying and swimming. Our first Gannet sighting was spotted almost 20 minutes later as we rounded the south west corner of the island. This was followed by a lone Fulmar and Guillemot soon afterwards. The occasional Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull were the only birds seen around this time apart from Gannet.

Shag Adrian Shephard 01a
Shag (Library photo: Adrian Shephard)

In the Alderney race 2 Shag were seen flying low over the water, with more occasional Gannet. The wind was from the north during the survey and hence we did not see any migrants heading northwards. Our only other sightings for the rest of the trip were the occasional Gannet and Guillemot. All in all it was a pretty quiet survey.

Our grateful thanks go to Captain Wojciech Pielich and crew of the Commodore Goodwill who made this an enjoyable crossing.