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Poole-Jersey survey 17 February

Anna and I were warmly welcomed on the Condor Liberation by Captain Crow and the rest of the crew. Whilst the ferry was going out through the harbour, we used the time to set up our paperwork and, with help from Will, one of the ship’s officers, familiarise ourselves with the ship’s instruments.

The sky was an all-over medium grey, the sea calm with no swell. One of our first sightings was of a Shag sitting on the sea with its crest up – surely a sign of the approaching breeding season. During the crossing we saw Herring, Great and Lesser Black-backed, Black-headed, Little Gull, and Kittiwake – a good haul of gull species – Razorbill and Guillemot added to the species diversity. Nearing the Ortac rock area there were several Gannet. For a brief while between Guernsey and Jersey the clouds became lighter, and we found that we were looking into the glare of the still obscure sun.

The turn-around hour in Jersey just gave us time to relax and have our lunch. 

Common Dolphin (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

On the return journey between Jersey and Guernsey, we were delighted to have good views of a pod of five Common Dolphin crossing in front of the ship. Not long before sunset, we were again passing Ortac rock, where lots of Gannet had now returned to roost and others were making their way towards it. With the light fading we completed our survey, pleased to have done so before the arrival of the forecast rain. We used the time we had left aboard to start to input the data into the workbook. Anna and l both enjoyed our survey and look forward to future ones.

Weather: wind S, sea state 2-3, visibility good

Summary of sightings

Marine Mammals

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 5


Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 4

Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus 1

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 8

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 3

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus 2

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 11

Guillemot Uria aalge 3

Razorbill Alca torda 1

Gannet Morus bassanus 44

Shag Gulosus aristotelis 4

Auk sp. 4

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