Posted by: orcaweb | May 25, 2009

Brilliant Birds

Another great crossing to Esbjerg on the Dana Sirena. I did an early morning deck-watch and had a ‘piping’ Oystercatcher flying around the ship and also a Dunlin uttering an alarm call. I think they may have been trying to land on deck but decided otherwise. I also saw 2 Gannets. My morning presentation in the Columbus lounge was well attended. These talks by the on board Wildlife Officers are very popular with the passengers and ORCA and DFDS Seaways are certainly having an impact on people in enthusing them about the marine environment and the impact that man is having on it particularly the North Sea.

People are fascinated about Whales and Dolphins too and are keen to learn more about their way of life. On arrival in Esbjerg I took the short ferry crossing to Fanø. I really love this island it has great charm and the pace of life is so relaxed. I met up with ORCA’s local birding contact and he showed me some fantastic bird life on the island. I saw a flock of about 1,000 Bar-tailed Godwits, hundreds of Sanderling running along the beach. We saw a Bittern, an Avocet, Dunlin & Grey Plover. The highlight was hearing an Icterine Warbler singing which is a first  for me. The tern family are well represented in the waters around Fanø too and during the course of the day I saw Sandwich, Arctic, Common & Little Terns. It is truly a spectacular island for birds. On leaving Esbjerg in the evening I went out on deck and was joined by some passengers I was able to show them lots of Common Scoters, Terns and 3 Red-throated divers. On my early morning deck-watch this morning before getting to Harwich I saw Gannets, Fulmars and Guillemots.

Elfyn Pugh
Wildlife Education Officer
on the Dana Sirena

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