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Newhaven-Dieppe survey 3 June

As we were approaching the longest day, my journey to Newhaven was in daylight affording lovely views of the sea as I drove over the South Downs. I knew the forecast was for calm seas and mainly dry weather and looked forward to a pleasant survey.

Once we had left the port, I was welcomed onto the bridge by the crew, and I set up for the survey. After sightings of Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull near the port, the survey was a little quieter other than Gannet of various ages, giving me an opportunity to practice identifying the different plumage stages we record on surveys. There were also occasional sightings of auks with both Razorbill and Guillemot making an appearance.

A fishing boat a little distance from the ship had attracted a few birds and a careful look at the small flock revealed a mixture of Gannet and gulls circling and feeding around the small boat.

Harbour Porpoise (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Further Herring Gull were spotted and then, as we neared Dieppe, I saw a single dorsal fin very close to the ship as a Harbour porpoise surfaced and then disappeared.

After a stroll into Dieppe for some lunch, I returned to the ship ready for the return crossing.  The crew welcomed me back to the bridge and were keen to know what I had seen on the outbound voyage. 

An early sighting as we left the port was a Fulmar with several more spotted later in the crossing too.  Gannet, auks and gulls made up the remainder of the sightings on the return crossing with no more cetaceans spotted.

The sun was setting as we reached Newhaven, and I thanked the captain and crew and left the ship to make my way home.

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


Outward – wind NE, sunshine with changing cloud cover

Return – wind E, sunshine, good visibility


Summary of sightings

Marine Mammals

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1



Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5

Gannet Morus bassanus 65

Guillemot Uria aalge 3

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 16

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 11

Razorbill Alca torda 1

Gull sp. 13

Auk sp. 6


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