Acrobatic dolphins, graceful Harbour Porpoise, rafts of auks, low-flying shearwaters, soaring skuas, plunging gannets and more were all sighted by passengers from the viewing decks on past trips.
Do you want to experience such memorable moments but don’t know the difference between a Bottlenose Dolphin and a Common Dolphin, or a Shag from a Cormorant, or a Common Seal from a Grey Seal? Then book a special MARINElife day trip with a Wildlife Officer onboard.
One of MARINElife’s Wildlife Officer explains:
“Once onboard, join me up on the viewing deck. From there, I can give you the opportunity to learn how to spot and identify the different species you may encounter throughout the journey.
As we depart Poole Harbour, you may see flocks of migrating birds and resident gulls, geese and herons in the lagoon on Brownsea Island and Cormorant on buoys drying their wings. Shortly afterwards, we’ll go past the spectacular Jurassic Coastline, where Old Harry Rocks provides an ideal photo opportunity and you might even spot Bottlenose Dolphin breaching in Poole Bay.
Nearing Alderney, we may see the vast Gannet colony occupying Ortac and Les Etacs during the breeding season where you can marvel as these birds, with wings swept back, plunge into the sea at up to 60mph to catch fish.
As we reach Guernsey, it may be possible to see dolphins playing in the wake or even a glimpse of the fin of Harbour Porpoise as we make the turn into the harbour.
The return journey can have similar encounters, with the afternoon sun highlighting the glistening white of Ortac Rock and you can be treated to some spectacular sunsets along the Jurassic coast. Finally as we return to Poole Harbour sailing past Brownsea Island lagoon, we might see Sandwich Tern diving at speed into the water and hear the distinctive call of the Oystercatcher.”
MARINElife day trips will run on selected dates from April to September on the Poole to Guernsey route, with £5 from each day trip being donated by Condor Ferries to the charity.
For more information and to book, please visit www.condorferries.co.uk/day-trips
MARINElife is a Dorset based research, education and conservation charity conducting scientific surveys of whales, dolphins and seabirds. Condor Ferries has actively supported MARINElife’s volunteer Research and Wildlife Officer programme since 2014.
More information about MARINElife can be found at www.marine-life.org.uk