MARINElife Survey Report: Condor Ferries ‘Commodore Goodwill’ Portsmouth-Jersey 12 June 2019

Mike Mackay and Steve Boswell Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: wind NE force 1-4 throughout, rain showers around the Channel Islands

Marine Mammals
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus 1

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus 3
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 17
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 6
Gannet Morus bassanus 167
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Guillemot Uria aalge 5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 124
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 37
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 4
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 1
Puffin Fratercula arctica 1
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 5
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 14

Terrestrial Birds
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 1
Swift Apus apus 1

Arriving around 17.00 at Portsmouth ferry port we were swiftly transferred to the ship and were welcomed by Captain Pielich who informed us that we could have access to the bridge before we set sail. As the loading continued we had our dinner and then went up to the bridge to watch our departure down the harbour channel. Due to the tides we were scheduled to sail directly to Jersey first and call in on Guernsey on the return leg.

Balearic Shearwater Tom Brereton 06a

Balearic Shearwater (Tom Brereton)

We were up early for breakfast as departure was at 06.00. Lovely clear light greeted us as we looked out to a calm sea outside the harbour entrance. We saw a small group of Balearic Shearwater as the weather suddenly deteriorated and we sailed into rain. A Swift headed away from the squall. As we approached Guernsey a large group of loafing Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gull were outside the harbour.

After an hour we were heading towards Portsmouth. A flurry of Gannet sightings for half an hour saw feeding parties passing the bow commuting between the Cherbourg peninsular and Alderney. A solitary Puffin was seen and a Mediterranean Gull. Four close Manx Shearwater livened up a particularly quiet period for birds before the only mammal of the day, a Grey Seal close to the Isle of Wight.

Med Gull Peter Howlett 10

Mediterranean Gull (Peter Howlett)

We concluded the survey on the approach to Portsmouth. Many thanks to Captain Pielich, his crew and of course Condor Ferries.

Mike Mackay and Steve Boswell Research Surveyors for MARINElife