Thursday, 20 October 2016

Porpoises in the chop...

Went out onto the Outer Breakwater with Chantelle after lunch, it was quite choppy with  a northerly wind sending waves breaking on the blocks. There were no Gannets feeding and after ten minutes of looking we could find no sign of either Dolphin or Porpoise activity.
As is often the case just as we were about to give in, a porpoise popped up close by. We then had a frustrating half hour trying to get a decent view of what was seemingly a mother and smallish calf and perhaps another adult. Better still  (not) I had brought my camera but no memory card.I borrowed one from Chantelle and managed to get a few shots of the calf which for a short time hung around one of the pot buoys whilst mother left it to forage further afield.
Both animals were surfacing in a really random manner and the female further out among waves that quite often obscured her or gave no more than the briefest glimpse through binoculars. Soon after the calf and mother moved out diagonally away from us towards  Pen Anglas so although we suspected them to be the same pair as yesterday we could not confirm it.
The weather is looking a lot calmer for Thursday so hopefully we will get a better look!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Better Late Than Never

A text from Anna today while I was working on my roof alerted me to porps and gannets off the breakwater and that Anna didn't have a camera with her. Unable to leave the job it had to be later when I eventually got out there. At the gate I could see gannets still circling out there so high hopes of a porp or two. By the time I got to the end the last gannet was just settling down on the water and not a porp to be seen. I waited though and it paid off when 45 mins later a mother and calf came in from Pen Anglas direction. Was it the one's that Anna and Chantelle had seen earlier though as that adult had distinctive fin markings. Well on first glance it seemed so and this was confirmed when I checked the image on the back of the camera. It looks as if it was none other than the one first recorded in 2010 in Ramsey Sound and again by me a few times at Strumble. First time I've seen it up close though and I hope it does indeed turn out to be that one. Over to Chantelle for final ID.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Small Tides = Small Returns

Two visits to Strumble with that cold easterly wind coupled with small tides and all I got to show for it is a few record images. The porps were sparse and those that were there were not showing very well and most times I was just seeing fin tips breaking through the choppy water. Strumble does have it's bizzare moments though and the guy passing on a paddle board did make me do a second take. I was well chilled with my coat and hat securely fastened while he was on the water bare footed with not much in the way of insulation. Maybe the music he was listening to was taking his mind off the cold. I hope his gadget was waterproof. Another surprise and a little off topic was a Woodpecker that landed on the handrail beside the lookout. One bird I've never seen at Strumble before.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Porthcawl Porpoise

I have been surveying porpoise in Porthcawl for 2 1/2 years. Many many blank sessions and the peak number of porps seen has been 3. Today made it all worth while!! 7 separate animals in the first 15 minutes. 14 separate sightings in the hour with an estimate of at least 9 porpoise present. One even breached giving me hopes of dolphin for a while. Small potatoes by Strumble standards but brilliant for Porthcawl.

Bottles reported Fishguard Bay today and Newport Bay over the Weekend!

Thanks to Pete and Dan for letting us know about bottles seen in the bay today and Anne and friends that reported at least eight with two calves in Newport bay over the weekend when i came to help rescue a seal pup this evening!


Sunday 9th October

Ian Hotchin saw 6 Bottlenose Dolphins at 2:30pm playing around at the end of the north breakwater.
and also bow riding and breaching around the Stena Europe.


Thanks all!

Strumble diary 09/10/2016

A quiet start to the session with calm waters on a sunny afternoon with a light easterly breeze. Small tides brought a slower moving tidal race with not a lot of action close in. A mile or so out there was around a hundred gannets spread over the 180degree view however it was difficult to see if there were any porps below them. Thankfully a few groups of porps moved through, some slow some moving quite fast which made the short session worthwhile. Several visitors approached and were educated on the wildlife of the waters around the Strumble area. It's lovely to be able to pass on local knowledge and to see it appreciated. One couple who had been coming here for years had never seen the porpoise so when I pointed them out and told them how to spot them they were delighted.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Strumble Rissos and Porps 08/10/2016

I've been a bit busy lately with a new addition to the family and other matters. His name is Leo a rather cute if naughty bundle of fluff who next week starts his training as a sea watcher. At 11 weeks old it's like having a baby again but harder to catch and with sharper teeth. I'm sure you'll see some photos in the near future. Anyway,  first post since the 2nd of the month and I arrived at Strumble in between tides so not expecting too much action to start with and that's exactly as it was. Thirty minutes in and I spotted three Rissos quite distant in the tide race which I tracked going east to west accross my view and past the lighthouse. The porps eventually came in as the ebb tide started and three different groups were showing well but all a bit distant. The odd one or two came a bit closer and not wanting to be away from the pup for too long I finished the session after about two hours.

There's two here. Side by side.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Strange old world ennit?

Whale ok now.

The banner on your website contains DOLPHINS. These are different from WHALES, and makes the entire WHALES IN WALES website meaningless. You will be hearing from my maritime lawyer about this.

Rick Scott |

Serious? amusing? bollocks? you tell me?

Magellan moves on...

Not sure why, but Magellan has moved off away from our local waters and is now about thirty miles west beyond Lands End.  That's the area we (and others) have found concentrations of Fin Whales when we did a survey on the Rosslare to Cherbourg ferry. we will be keeping an eye on them and will be heading out on the Cartlett Lady in the next few days depending on if they return or not, either way we will go out and try and find out whats been going on out there, will let you know ...

Monday, 3 October 2016

Impending disaster for common Dolphin Nursery area

Get ready! for stranded cetaceans!!!
Big time seismic activity in the area we have recorded superpods of Common Dolphins this is outrageous!!! see...

We have just had information that the Seismic survey vessel WG Magellan is at the moment active in the Celtic Deep an area we know to be an internationally important nursery area for Common Dolphins where we have encountered super-pods on several occasions. It is also a feeding area for Fin Whales and Minke whales and may well be a breeding ground for both as well....
The MV Magellan will be causing massive acoustic disturbance of a type known to be dangerous to cetaceans and other marine life.

This is a statement i by OGA (See Below) issued on Face Book regarding the project....OGA = Ogre ??? quaint eh, who thought that one up?) see...
UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded contracts for the second UK Government funded £20 million ($26.6M) seismic campaign to promote under explored areas of UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)
The acquisition is due to begin in July, subject to receiving the relevant environmental approvals, and will be supplemented by selective reprocessing of legacy seismic datasets.

... so that's it ....
These areas are also under explored with regards their importance to our marine life. Consequently this vessel could be doing massive damage to sensitive areas and whoever is responsible for having given environmental approvals has no idea of the environmental situation.
20 million spent on searching for fossil fuels and nothing  spent on conservation based exploration, Heaven help us!
We have done our best and raised-awareness as much as possible. Only this week we were featured on BBC "Coast" filming nursery pods of Common Dolphins in the Celtic Deep...
This time two years ago we took the BBC1 Oneshow out there and showed them hundreds of Dolphins out there ..
Have they got environmental  permission from Natural Resources Wales? or Natural England?