Saturday, 3 March 2012

Day 9: Land Ho!

Last night we made our way inshore to conduct coastal transects targeting major headlands from Cape Clear (West Cork) to Ram Head (Waterford). The first day of this inshore survey provided numerous Common Dolphin sightings for the Cetacean Team.

Common Dolphins Breaching off West Cork (C) Conor Ryan

The Seabird Team noted lower numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Fulmars in this area compared to offshore counts, whilst  6 Manx Shearwaters & 6 Puffins provided further interest. A total of 7 species were added to the expedition list today: Razorbills and Guillemots were both plentiful, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls were frequently observed near the vessel, a Red-throated Diver was seen near Galley Head & 2 Common Gulls flew east in the late evening. Of particular note was a 2nd-winter Iceland Gull which circled the R.V. Celtic Explorer for a time. These 'white-winged' gulls are a scarce winter visitor from the Arctic.

2nd-winter Iceland Gull off West Cork (C) Conor Ryan
The Zooplankton team were unable to survey last night partly due to weather conditions but also due to moving to inshore waters for today's survey efforts. However, the team plan to complete 2 stations tonight in hopes of obtaining barrel jellyfish samples.

Knockadoon Head, Co. Cork at sunset (C) Lilian Lieber

Blog post by Teresa Martin

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Teresa this and all entries avidly read still, here in Macclesfield. Sightings of Blue Tits and Sparrows here, plus the occasional Dipper right in the centre of town now and again. Interesting to check out the bird species in books (Collins )here as you sight them. The Black Browed Albatross and Fins must have been especially exciting. Are you allowed to blog about the non-scientific aspects? Like what's for dinner tonight?!