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.
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.
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