Friday, 4 September 2015

A slightly delayed posting due to last Sunday's boat trip taking priority over the image processing. A trip to Strumble on the 29th August saw very little Porpoise activity in a brisk NW wind. I did manage one sighting of a mother and calf and got the shot you see below. Seals on the other hand were showing well. At low tide when the water dries out between the lighthouse and the mainland a deep sheltered pool forms on the east side nearest the lookout. It was to this pool that the resident bull brought two females for a romantic liason. At one point they were singing to each other which is quite a haunting sound if you've not heard it before. They spent a good twenty minutes in close proximity before moving out as the tide flooded in.

Stena-Sea Trust Holyhead /Dublin Survey

Dr Tony Gallon led our Sea Trust survey aboard the Stena Superfast Ferry plying between Holyhead and Dublin on the Bank Holiday Monday accompanied by Alesha Naranjit and Frazer Higgins. 

They were fortunate to be blessed with almost perfect viewing conditions which on the return leg produced 14 sightings of a total of 35 Porpoises including a calf. They also had one definite pod of six Common Dolphins. These along with several sightings of animals too distant to properly identify and plenty of sea birds kept the team pretty busy, a highly successful trip!

The Sea Trust team would also like to thank the officers, crew and shore teams of Stena for their support and hospitality!

Stormy Seal

Our resident bull grey seal was still about this morning. We had a report of a couple of Porpoises off the breakwater but we could not find them although it was pretty choppy and we could have missed them...

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Dolphins yesterday Porp's today!

So yesterday we were watching two mother and calf Bottlenose Dolphin pairs, Apache and Ringo with Notchy and Scratchy, both named by Ken because of Notchy's notched fin. Today we arrived at much the same time and were pleased to see a couple of gannets circling which suggested the Dolphins were back again. So I was a bit surprised to see a porpoise accompanied by a small calf instead. I raised my camera squeezed the button and a notice flashed up "No Memory Card!" aargh!!!...
So here's one Ken took earlier...

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

More Porthcawl Common Dolphins

I did a cetacean survey at Rest Bay Porthcawl yesterday 14.20 to 15.20. The only sighting was a very prominent 'dorsal fin' on a log.

I went home thinking back to normal. This morning I had a call from a friend to report that a mutual friend had arrived off Porthcawl Breakwater at about 17.00 in his boat to find a small pod of dolphin there!! Oh dear I missed them

Apache and Ringo still here!

Tina Davies popped into the Ocean lab this morning " There's somone popping up out there off the breakwater" she said" We did not hang around, Hannah and I hotfooted it out to the breakwater!

There are two mothers with well frown calves Apache -R and her calf Ringo who has distinctive eye rings and another mother with a ragged trailing edge to her dorsal fin with a calf that lacks Ringo's eye rings. They may be a part of a larger pod of around twelve that have been visiting Fishguard Bay over the summer, The two pairs  seem to keep their distance from each other although at one point we saw three dolphins together but could not identify them at distance. It is all a bit confusing in terms of interactions but interesting trying to get some insights into their behavior!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Sunday Afloat

A grey but calm day and we were off to the Celtic Deep on the lookout for whale and dolphin. Perfect spotting conditions but quite flat light for photography. Despite this I was happy with the results and thank Cliff  for the oportunity and Skipper Andy and his crew for a great day afloat and the other members of the outing that made the day so enjoyable. This is a small selection of the images taken on the day and you can see more by following the link to my Flickr photostream here:

                                                       The man himself.

                                          Blue shark cruising by.

More from Strumble from Richard Stonier!

Richard Stonier's epic 12 hour watches from Strumble continue to produce their just rewards in terms of some cracking sea birds! see: 

Thankfully he also records other marine life!
Sunfish - 1
Common Porpoise - showing all day and often seen tail slapping and riding the big rollers

Monday, 31 August 2015

Clette is making his way around again!

We got this through from Rebecca Connor today - great to hear of Clette's whereabouts!

We saw Clet in Weymouth Harbour on 29 August!! Because of his distinctive marks we tried to find information about him on the web and found you. As you are watching his movements thought you might like to know. Rebecca

Cartlett Lady pelagic survey..

At last the weather allowed us to get out to the Celtic Deep! We were hoping for whales but found none possibly a week or two too late on the other hand the Common Dolphins put on a good show and we also got a brief glimpse of a Blue Shark. A rather odd phenomena where shearwaters were feeding above an area of boiling water was hard to resolve but reminded me of tuna feeding which I have seen off the ferries crossing Biscay...  On the way back in closer to show we added porpoise to the list. Sea birds included several common terns, a little tern, a few thousand manxies, storm petrel and two great Skuas.