Thursday, 5 March 2015

Strumble Diary:Thursday March 5th ... Surfy porp dudes and mother/s? with Calve/s?

Our first visit to Strumble this month as tides/wind/weather/other stuff, had not been favourable.
As we arrived it was obvious that the big tide was rushing through fast and we had probably missed the best of the action as the ebbing tide carried the porp's out past the lighthouse. (This was later confirmed by some visiting Geologists from Hereford) 

Distant surfy porp!

I managed to snap a surfy Porp in the distance having missed others as they retreated out of sight. 

Mother and Calf... 
We were ready to leave when we realised a mother was leading a small calf out of the tide race into the calmer inshore area.They came past us quite close , (see Cristina's film). We are not sure if it was one mother and calf or two which illustrates the difficulties of actually counting porpoises even at close range!

...or maybe two mothers with calf's?

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Strumble Diary: Porp's from Rich and Sean

Rich and Sean had an hour at Strumble today with a minimum estimate of 15 porpoises seen. also of interest were a female Peregrine, several Red Throated Divers and apparently "flocks of Meadow Pipits"

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Strumble Diary: Not so far away...

Porpoise action off Fishguard Harbour outer breakwater least 10 porpoises were seen congregating off the harbour mouth.This included at least two mothers with small calves. 
They sometimes come here to feed as the ebbing tide empties the harbour, a kind of ambush point.Not brilliant pic's as soon after we arrived several boats came in sending the porp's back out to sea. On inspection of some of Cristina's footage there are two calves creche-ing  in the vicinity of a buoy. Its something we have seen before, mothers leave calves near a buoy and go off to feed before coming back to pick them up!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Porthcawl whales?

So we have received this very interesting message!

"I was out surfing today at Porthcawl and about 75-100m from where I was positioned were two or three massive black objects. I thought they were flotsam or something at first but they kept coming up and down and had distinctive dorsal fins at the rear. They had a sort of ridge to the front of the exposed part of it's body and were really quite large, much bigger than Minke whales I have seen before. Just wondering if you could tell me what they'd be, and also thought I'd let you guys know! There was also a small pod of dolphins later in the day but I couldn't say how many in total. Maybe they're moving in for shelter with the storms coming in over the next few days, but it made for an impressive site nonetheless!

Dan Sharpe"

"I couldn't hear or see them blowing no which I thought they would be. Having said that they kept going out of view behind the waves so they weren't constantly in my sight. They were very slow moving too." 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Sea Trust filming porpoises with "Countryfile"

So the idea was that we meet up with the "Countryfile" crew at 8:30 this morning and show them plenty of porpoises! No pressure then as they say...

We arrive and the camera/ sound crew are setting up, Ellie the presenter is discussing scripts with Kathryn the director and Katy, Kath's assistant comes over to greet us.and give us an idea of the filming schedule.

It is cold, bitterly cold the sea is wonderfully calm but no sign of the tide-race which should be bringing the porpoises with it and into view...

Kathryn introduces us to Ellie, she is as lovely as she appears on the screen and very natural we are soon chatting away as I desperately search the sea for the porpoises I have promised will be appearing soon.

I get a quick glimpse of one and I try and get Ellie on it but it does not reappear. Another one surfaces and disappears then a third all in different places and all distant and very brief. Ellie catches another split second sighting but to be honest its hardly mind blowing and the breeze is freezing...
So we start the filming Ellie leads the interview and makes it easy. I am soon rabbiting on nice and relaxed as we wander down the path to the lookout. Of course it takes several takes with different angles and all the stuff that takes time, but will be seamlessly edited into a brief sequence. 

Finally Ellie and I walk down to the shelter and get out of the cutting breeze and then Hallelujah! I spot a porp not far out with the naked eye. Ellie is on to it quick as a flash, and then another, and another, Ellie is thrilled we have shown her her first Porpoises. 

And so the pressure is off, Powell and his Pembrokeshire College students who are also there to put on a demonstration of how we train our volunteers using our Wildlife Observer Courses. 

Alison Colebrook our Environment Wales funding manager came along to see what we get up to. Its really important to us that our funders understand how we and our volunteers deliver our projects. Alison has been working with us for several years now and without her support and the backing of Environment Wales we would struggle.

On St Davids Day several million BBC viewers will see us and our Strumble porpoises , It will massively strengthen our campaign to get them the protection they need and should have, helping to ensure that future generations can come to Strumble and get the thrill of seeing these fascinating little cetaceans that Ellie felt today!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Strumble Diary: Phenomenal Porp's today!

Over the past winter we have had some really large flocks of feeding birds around Strumble , The local fishermen are telling us that there are masses of sprats out there...

Today we hit the porpoise jackpot with what seemed to be a nice family group  of half a dozen or so including calves. 

They seemed to be feeding although there was also a bit of leapfrogging going on, so maybe some social interaction/hierarchy stuff as well... 

Best of all Cristina got some brilliant footage we can give to the "Countryfile" brew for their programme featuring us to be shown on St David's Day.

Click on the link below for some film Cristina shot of a motherf and small calf...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Strumble Diary Bottles of Dinas Head Porp's off Strumble Head!

At lunchtime we had a call from fisherman Paul Welsh who was working his pot lines and said he was just off Dinas Head and surrounded by Dolphins. Apparently they were putting on quite a display! I realised we would not be able to get to Dinas in time so headed to the Fishguard  Harbour outer breakwater, We could see what looked like a lot of dolphins in the distance in our binoculars, which looked like Bottles in the telescope. As Paul Said they ere very active making big splashes as they breached. I was hoping they were going to come to us but sadly in the end they headed off north. Thanks Paul!  (I just spoke to him on the phone and her reckoned there could have been over a 100!)

We decided the go on to Strumble as the sea conditions were so good and do a click count.
although the porpoises were not too close we managed to record quite a few sightings which gave an average of  29.25 which is pretty good for the time of the year. Better still we had a beautiful mother and small calf. 

A big bull grey seal added even more interest on a cold misty winters day !

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Strumble Diary Porp's popping up around the bend!

This morning when we arrived at Strumble, the fog rolled in so we left.

  This afternoon it cleared and we got there just in time to catch them going around the corner!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Strumble Diary Feb porp's

Just a brief look at Strumble today with Kirstene and Cristina, it was bitter cold with a biting north easterly wind. The tide was ebbing fast taking the porp's around the lighthouse and out of view I only managed a couple of shots of them but Cristina actually got a nice bit of video

Friday, 30 January 2015

Strumble Diary 28th January 2015

A brief look at Strumble this week as the weather gods throw everything at us. Even so a couple of glimpses of Porpoises and a new Volunteer Kirsten. Although most Gannets are in warmer climates there are still a few that stay here for the winter...