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Newhaven-Dieppe survey 12 November

I arrived at Newhaven port in the dark but with the sun starting to rise and a weather forecast that promised a dry crossing with manageable winds. I boarded along with the foot passengers and, in due course, was welcomed onto the bridge by the friendly and hospitable crew.


Once we had made our way out of the port, initial bird sightings of Herring Gull and Gannet kept me busy before it became a little quieter further away from the coast. Gannets of various ages passed the ship for the next hour or so as well as a skua circling, apparently in search of a meal, unfortunately too far away to be certain of which species.

Little Gull (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

A little way into the crossing a smaller gull with dark underwing caught my attention. On closer observation, I was able to identify this as a Little Gull in its winter plumage.


On arrival in Dieppe, I left the ship for a walk into the town as the weather was crisp but dry. There were many gulls around the harbour as always and a Cormorant standing confidently on the swing bridge watched me pass.

3 year-old Immature Gannet (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

On the return to the ship, I was able to survey from the bridge for just an hour of the return crossing before it became too dark. More Gannet made up the bulk of the sightings, but duck, diver and auk species were also spotted in the fading light.


I thanked the captain and crew of the Cote D’Albâtre for their continued support and left the bridge to enjoy the remainder of the crossing.

Mandy Bright, Research Surveyor for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)


Weather

Outward: wind SE, cloudy with some mist later, visibility mainly good

Return: wind SE, cloudy, visibility good


Summary of sightings

Seabirds

Gannet Morus bassanus 30

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 11

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus 1

Duck sp. 8

Diver sp. 3

Skua sp. 2

Auk sp. 8

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