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Felixstowe-Vlaardingen survey 5 September

This was quite a tiring survey as there was no cloud and you spend most of the time heading into the sun. On the way back all the visors were down, and the air-conditioning was on full whack to try and counter-act the sun.

I think all the birds had decided to take a break too, there was not a lot to see until we reached the river. Even then the numbers seemed to be down on what they normally are. As would be expected most sightings were of Mute Swan, Herring Gull, and Cormorants.

Cormorant (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

No cetaceans were spotted on the outward journey. However, on the return while I was studying a small group of birds sitting around on the water there was a curious splash. I then scanned around and spotted a couple of other splashes, nothing appeared above the surface, but I did manage to see a white panel on the side of a cetacean under the water. It was definitely a dolphin, my best guess being a Common Dolphin.

I continued until the sun was almost set but no more cetaceans were spotted, and the number of birds being seen was small.

I would like to thank the captain and crew for making me welcome.

Robin Langdon, Research Surveyor for MARINElife

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 5


Common Gull Larus canus 4

Gannet Morus bassanus 14

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 31

Guillemot Uria aalge 1

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 506

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 3

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 19

Tern sp. 6

River and Terrestrial Birds

Coot Fulica atra 37

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 126

Gadwall Anas strepera 18

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2

Greylag Goose Anser anser 20

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos 4

Mute Swan Cygnus olor 460

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon Columba livia 1

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