Find out how our Wildlife Officeer Placement, Helen, has been getting on during her first two weeks in the North Sea!
It’s been 13 days since I stepped on board the DFDS KING Seaways in the North Sea to start my Wildlife Officer Placement, and although I have yet to see any whales I am far from being disappointed. I’ve even seen my first harbour porpoise this week (last week they were just too quick for me!).
This week we’ve had a mix of weather conditions from sunny skies and calm seas to rain, wind and turbulent waters. But the harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins didn’t seem to mind the weather and would show up just long enough for us to spot them before disappearing into the depths again, which the passengers and I were all very happy about! This morning we had a bit of mist, so our visibility wasn’t great and yet there was a white-beaked dolphin that decided to put on a show for us, jumping out of the water several times. We also saw a medium-sized cetacean which could have possibly been a minke whale!
There have been a couple of days though where we were unable to spot any dolphins and porpoises, but during these days the many seabirds have kept us entertained. We’ve seen plenty of northern gannets coasting along the sea and even watched as they dived down into the deep. We’ve also seen guillemots relaxing on the water, terns bickering with one another, black-backed gulls, kittiwakes, fulmars and one passenger even spotted a puffin!
The northern gannet is the largest of the sea birds we get on the North Sea with a wing span of up to 2m, that’s basically the size of a door! Their features are quite distinctive with their white bodies, black tipped wings, and yellow heads with a blue-grey beak.
Don’t forget to check back next week to see what else we see on the North Sea!
North Sea Wildlife Officer Placement