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Newhaven-Dieppe survey 11 June DFDS 'Seven Sisters'

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 4


Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 4

Gannet Morus bassanus 276

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 160

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 34

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 3

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 3

Gull sp. 1

Weather: wind SW-W force 3 with a slight swell in the afternoon, glare on both inbound and outbound.

We arrived in good time to board the 10:00 departure for the four hour crossing to Dieppe. As usual check in was quick and efficient. After reporting to reception we were escorted to the bridge – our first survey from the bridge since Covid – just as the ferry was reversing, on time, out of the harbour.

Gannet (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Seabird sightings began with a large concentration of feeding birds, frustratingly just out of range, there were almost certainly cetaceans involved! Sightings were steady with Gannet dominating the numbers, these were likely to be Alderney breeding birds. There were no sightings of cetaceans on the outward segment.

On arrival we walked into a sunny, warm Dieppe for a coffee before returning to the ferry port. We observed a Painted Lady butterfly on flowers beside the sea wall.

Harbour Porpoise (Library photo: Rick Morris)

We departed on time and began surveying as soon as we left the harbour. Bird sightings were steady until a quiet period mid-Channel but then this area livened up with a close view of four Harbour Porpoise leisurely drifting along – it was great to have such a good view! In contrast to our February Newhaven-Dieppe survey when we saw 270 feeding auks not a single auk was observed on this trip. Unfortunately, we did observe a large piece of fishing net drifting along in the shipping lane.

On approach to Newhaven and still in good light we encountered a large feeding group of seabirds, but no cetaceans were observed with them. We thanked Captain Bidet and his team before disembarking.

Steve Boswell Team Leader and Margaret Boswell , Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)

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