Survey Reports

2019-07-07 - Plymouth-Roscoff

Survey details

Survey route: Plymouth-Roscoff

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2019-07-07

Number of nights: 1

^ Bottlenose dolphins

7th July 2019: English Channel 

The ORCA survey team met at the Brittany Ferries Terminal. We embarked on time at 22.00 and as we left  Plymouth the light was just fading. The overnight crossing was calm.

8th July 2019: Approaching Roscoff

We were on deck shortly after 5am, first light, we were presented with a mirror sea state and within a few minutes our first sighting of common dolphins. Shortly after this however fog rapidly closed in and stayed until we arrived in Roscoff. 

8th July 2019: Roscoff  

Following disembarkation we walked into town in sunshine. After breakfast the team split up to explore both the Ilse of Batz and Roscoff Botanic Gardens.

8th July 2019: English Channel Sea State 1-2 good visibility

We boarded the Amorique in bright sunshine and departed Roscoff early in the afternoon. The team's hope was high for a productive survey . This proved to be the case and we were treated to sightings of common dolphins, as well as one sighting of two bottlenose dolphins swimming close to the bow.

The sea state remained a constant 2 and visibility 18km throughout much of the afternoon. Common dolphin sightings were varied in nature, including some feeding dolphins acompanied by gannets. Only one calf was noted. Other wildlife included two sunfish, and some schools of small fish visible just below the surface.                                     

In total the ORCA team had a total of 15 sightings consisting of: 

Common Dolphins x62

Bottlenose Dolphins x2

Unidentifed dolphin x1 (incidental)

Sun Fish 2

Birds:  Gannet, Baleric shearwaters, Manx shearwaters, great skua,  Puffin, Razorbill,  Cormorant, Herring gull, Greater black backed gull, Black headed gull, Lesser black backed and Yellow legged gull, Common tern.   

Little egret, Starling, Backbird, Mistle thrush, Linnet, Black cap, Wren, Great tit, Wood pigeon, Peregrine, Carrion crow, Jackdoor, House sparrow.

Thanks as always to Brittany Ferries, the Captain and crew of the Armorique.

Survey team members

Tony Chenery, David Williams, Jackie Shaw, Lynn Watts