Its taken me a while to write this due to internet problems, tennis taking up time and generally getting settled in a new country... but I have finally managed to get it started so here we go!!
As you probs already know Me, my Mum and Dad had been planning to move to southern Spain for the past year or so, to try and get my fledgling (excuse the bird pun ) tennis career off to a good start. But aswell as the tennis I was looking forward to the birds I could see on the way. You see, we were not going to take the easy route of JUST flying on a Plane and thus missing on the wonderful wildlife, instead we were going to drive ( and have a few stops on the way!).
After packing up my gear and a few luxury items ( video games, you know..) we set off for Dover. Driving ( not me, my Dad by the way ) I didnt see much except for the occasional Buzzard, kessy and at one point a field full of lapwings. We ended up arriving quite late in Dover so we decided to sleep the night in a Travelodge positioned right next to the port and catch the ferry in the morning.
I remember getting up about 5.00 in the morning, feeling a tad groggy and wondering where I was but the tiredness soon wore off as it all came back and Excitement soon settled in its place. I was hoping for Shearwaters, Skuas and Gannets on the way over the English channel and maybe... if I was really lucky.... some marine life like Whales or dolphins.
We boarded the ferry about 7.00 and walked up to the above deck where you could only just see out of the windows due to the foggyness, I spent about 15 mins looking for someway I could get out on to a open deck where I could get a better look. After finally finding one I admired the white cliffs of Dover in the sunshine as the misty haze receded and took a few photos, even last night in the pitch black from far away you could fainly see them, as if they glowed in the darkness.
But onto the birds, after half an hour looking I hadnt seen much except for a few gulls like Black headed, Herring and Black backed varietys. The ferry was well out to sea now but I still had lots of time so I waited. A few Gannets finally came into view cruising quite near to the boat but not diving, although they were not doing their trademark feeding stunt they were still breathtaking birds and I had only seen them a few times before.
5o minutes had passed and I was absolutely freezing. No other seabirds had turned up but what could I expect, there were no winds and it was sunny, not ideal seawatching weather! It was still very cold after another 10 mins so I decided to walk back down into the interior of the boat to meet my parents and warm up. As we began to pull into dock in Calais, France, a group of Cormorants flew lazily past. I hadnt seen much aboard the boat but it didnt really matter, I could ( and would ) get another chance to seawatch in the coming weeks.