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Felixstowe-Vlaardingen survey report 5 July


Outbound: wind NNW force 5, sea state 2 Return: wind NNW force 5, sea state 2-4

Marine Mammals Unidentified Seal sp. 2


Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 83

Commic Tern Sterna hirundo/Sterna paradisaea 10

Common Gull Larus canus 8

Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2

Gannet Morus bassanus 18

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 14

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 479

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 383

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 18

Gull sp. 4

Tern sp. 7

River and Terrestrial Birds

Coot Fulica atra 18

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 166

Gadwall Anas strepera 95

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 1

Greylag Goose Anser anser 162

Mute Swan Cygnus olor 2

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 2

Mute Swan Cygnus olor 1197

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 5

Spoonbill Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia 1

This week was going to be a repeat, for me, of a week just before the pandemic when I did this trip and the Heysham Warrenpoint surveys in the same week, that seems such a long time ago.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

I arrived at the bridge just before 5am and already there are quite a number of moored ships around us. You get loads around the mouth of the river at Rotterdam but we were still 4 hours away from the river so did not expect to see so many here. In fact there were more ships around than there were birds. Only a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Gannets were seen before we entered the river.

I only surveyed the starboard side of the river as I was doing the trip by myself. Nothing out of the norm was seen on the way down the river. On the return journey there was a Spoonbill seen feeding on the shore, one I had not seen here before. Only a few gulls were seen on the trip back across to Felixstowe.

Spoonbill (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

I did get excited at one point as it looked there was a seal logging on the surface. However, on closer inspection it turned out to be a gull standing on one end of a log floating on the water. One seal was seen later on briefly poking its head above the surface, this was the only encounter with any mammals.

I would like to thank the captain and crew of the Suecia for looking after me.

Robin Langdon, Research Surveyor for MARINElife

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