2018-03-26 - Plymouth-Roscoff

Survey details

Survey route: Plymouth-Roscoff

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2018-03-26

Number of nights: 1

^ Library photo common dolphin

This was the first survey to Roscoff this year and the first on the Bretagne which was standing in for the Armorique until next week. It was the day after BST started so it was dark when we arrived in Roscoff.

After a good night’s sleep and a morning coffee we strolled into the town, one of the team had never been to mainland Europe so was very excited and wasn’t disappointed. It was a lovely sunny day and after a walk around town and some lunch, we all rejoined the ship to start our survey.

The swell was light to moderate for the journey with a sea state of 2 slowly increasing to 4. Fortunately, it had clouded over and thus no glare.

As soon as we started our survey, within 2 minutes, 3 common dolphin came straight to the bow as if to say “hi we’re here, this is what we look like” giving everyone a great view and increasing the excitement.

About 2 hours later 3 large black animals were glimpsed briefly, passing at distance across the bow from starboard to port, pilot whales! We wished they had stayed in view for longer to allow everyone to see them.

There were not many birds but with the light soon to disappear and Plymouth on the horizon through the mist and rain, diving gannets and other birds feeding drew us to a couple of fins just appearing close by, a couple of harbour porpoise.

A few minutes later 2 common dolphins were bow riding on the opposite side as if to say “hope you enjoyed us, bye for now” and the survey was over around 30 minutes later.

 It was starting to get dark, and raining, so we said our goodbyes, thanked the crew, and left the bridge.

Thank you team for your effort, enthusiasm and making the trip so enjoyable.

Many thanks to the Captain Ronan Grimaud and all his crew for allowing us this opportunity and to Brittany Ferries for making this survey possible.

Total sightings:

Birds seen on this trip:

On the Bretagne:- Gannet, Cormorant, Razorbill, Great Skua, Greater and Lesser Black backed gull, Herring Gull, Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Guillemot and a Pied /White Wagtail hitching a lift.

In Roscoff:- Brent geese, Cormorant, Greater Black backed gull, Herring Gull, Little Egret, Oyster catcher, Turnstone, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Redshank, Goosander, Rock Pipit,  Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Magpie.

^ Another common dolphin photo