Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fishguard to Rosslare

On Wednesday (20/08/2014) I made my first crossing on the Stena Europe from Fishguard to Rosslare with Steve Rosser to survey cetaceans for Sea Trust. I had high hopes, lots of naive enthusiasm and couldn't take my eyes off the sea for the entire crossing. Unfortunately cetaceans were fairly thin on the ground with groups of Common Dolphins on the approach to Rosslare on the way out and close to Fishguard on the way back (the next day) plus a few Porpoises. We also saw two Grey Seals in-between Wales and Ireland. Seabirds were a little more exciting and highlights include at least one Great Shearwater (my first), a Sooty Shearwater, some big rafts of Manxies, four Bonxies and one Arctic Skua, lots of Common Terns, all of our breeding seabirds with young well out to sea (Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins and Kittiwakes) and thirteen Dunlin flying east roughly at the halfway point. At the extreme ends there was a single Black Guillemot in Fishguard Harbour (but interestingly none at Rosslare) and  two juv Med Gulls at Rosslare.

Juv. Med Gull

Great Shearwater

Great Shearwater

Manxie over a flat sea

Raft of Manxies

Sooty Shearwater

Common Tern
And finally a big note of congratulations to Dave Astins who managed to swim from Marloes Sands to Skokholm. An amazing feat in my book even on a calm day and it was a bit choppy, so well done Dave. Dave was raising money for the Wildlife trust of South and West Wales and you can still add to his fund raising by following this link.

Eddie Stubbings, Skomer Warden