Crossing the Channel: a bit of pelagic birding

We are on the way to Hungary for a short Easter Holiday. At 5:15 we departed to Calais, France from the port of Dover, UK. It was still dark at our departure but luckily light was improving quickly allowed me to spend more than an hour on the deck for birding. The weather was windy but acceptable.

Ferry departing for Dover. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Ferry departing for Dover. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I always love crossing the Channel as pelagic birding is so close to my heart. Here is what I saw from port to port:

Common Scoter 4
Red-throated Loon 3
Arctic Loon 1
Great Crested Grebe 7
Northern Gannet 44
Great Cormorant 4
Eurasian Oystercatcher 3
Sanderling 35
Black-legged Kittiwake 34
Black-headed Gull 15
Little Gull 85
European Herring Gull 19
Lesser Black-backed Gull 8
Greater Black-backed Gull 9
Black Guillemot 24

Eurasian Oystercatcher is a charismatic member of the coastal bird community. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The Eurasian Oystercatcher is a charismatic member of the coastal bird community. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Mixed adult and immature Little Gull flocks passed by at the Port of Calais. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Mixed adult and immature Little Gull flocks passed by at the Port of Calais. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Plenty of Northern Gannets were flying around the ferry whil others were swimming. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Plenty of Northern Gannets were flying around the ferry whil others were swimming. © Gyorgy Szimuly

By approaching the Port of Calais more and more birds was seen. The migrating Red-throated Loons and an Arctic Loon was a nice surprise to me. Watching the long migrating queue of Little Gulls was nice. I wonder how many birds are passing by a day. They flew in small groups followed by other groups. On the sandy beaches Sanderlings were feeding but I could not identify other waders.

At the Port of Calais 3 Eurasian Oystercatchers were feeding with European Herring Gulls. I tried to spot some Purple Sandpipers or Ruddy Turnstones without much of luck.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s