Saturday, 25 January 2020

News from Phil Lees

Philip Lees

AttachmentsWed, 22 Jan, 20:33 (3 days ago)
to Cliff
Hi Cliff

Good to have a quick chat today. Attached is the photo I mentioned. We made the most of the superb weather at weekend to get out on the coast. We did a St Davids Head circular walk on Saturday afternoon and the beach at Gesail Fawr was covered in seals. My wife counted 102 on the photo, the most we've seen on a mainland beach. On Sunday we walked from Trefin to Porthgain and stopped at Porthgain Beacon to try and spot porps and within 2 minutes picked up a small pod of Risso's moving slowly westwards about 500 metres out from the harbour. There were 5 to 6; one large mainly white individual, a couple of smaller adults and a couple that looked smaller still possibly juveniles. We watched them for 20 minutes until they disappeared behind Pen Clegyr. No porps but I wasn't too disappointed! Possibly this was the same group that was seen on Saturday off Strumble?

Hopefully catch up with you at the Strumble in the not to distant future.

All the best


Thursday, 23 January 2020

Stenna Survey

Steve and Rob joined Stenna Europe for the first survey of 2020. In fact the first survey for a long time. It was nice to see Stenna Europe looking so spruced up after her refit and we had a a really good welcome from the Master Saun Boyce and all our old friends on the crew. While the sea was flat calm visibility was poor with the ever present risk of the dreaded fog. Off Strumble we started seeing porpoise with 3 separate sightings totalling 8 adults and 1 juvenile. We then had a quiet hour before more porps and 2 common dolphins. We then had regular porpoise sightings until well after Tusker when 3 rissos surfaced just in front of our bow. These were followed by a pod of 15 common dolphin. A very successful trip with 16 sightings and the visibility remaining poor but good enough.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Strumble Diary 21/01/2020

A lovely still day today with light SE winds. Light high cloud kept the light nice and even so all we needed were the porps. Holly was there with the Tuesday gang when I arrived so we had a good number of eyes on the lookout. As the tide turned we spotted one off the point and over the next hour or so a few more individuals popping up here and there. In the second hour a group of five moved in from the west and spread out to feed. The sightings soon mounted up and with Cliff now having joined us along with Lloyd and a visiting group of students there were shouts of Porpoise! all over. A decent session then with some good sightings resulting in the capture in camera of at least two marked animals and to finish off a rather greedy Shag that had caught a wrasse and was having a great deal of trouble swallowing it.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Strumble diary 18/012020

Firstly a Happy New Year to all of you out there. I know it's a couple of weeks in but this is my first posting of the year with such things as Christmas, five nights on the high seas and a rather nasty head cold keeping me away from sea watching at Strumble since before Christmas.

What a first day back though. Arriving there at 09.30 with calm seas and the warmth of the sun just getting started it was a very pleasant morning indeed. The visibility was good and the tide race had yet to get going. I soon spotted a couple of porpoise well out to the NE with gulls pointing them out but they soon moved on and all was quiet. There were very many birds feeding off the Strumble bank and while watching them I spotted a further three porpoise moving east to west and they too soon went out of sight. Lloyd arrived with the Saturday crew and we all settled in for a sunny weather survey. While scanning around I spotted a group of commons off to the NW and scanning some more there was another group following behind making 20-25 all together. We watched as they moved to the NE eventually going out of sight. Some thirty minutes later a second group of around 15-20 commons came up from the west and like the previous group were very active and breaching well.
  Again all went quiet giving us time to reflect on the survey to that point. Certainly in my five to six years of surveying I have never seen such large groups of Commons this time of year. I've had the odd one or perhaps a pair passing through toward the end of February but as far as I can recall not in January.
  Could I dare hope for Rissos? That would be asking a lot I thought and would be the first time we've had three different cetaceans in the same session in winter. I did hope and I did get!! One of our new volunteers Lilah spotted several Rissos moving along outside the tide race. There were five or six and on processing the images there's at least two I've seen off Strumble before. Very distantly and spotted just before we were packing up I spotted the commons again and it looked as if the two groups had joined up into a now much larger pod and were moving back out of Cardigan bay and heading to the WNW. So all in all a marvellous first of the year session and fingers crossed tomorrow will be as good.

Commons Strumble!

Just had a call from one of our supporters living close to Strumble, that a pod of 20-30 Common Dolphins are passing Strumble heading this way! Hopefully our survey team will see them and get images! You never know our lost young dolphin may even have been reunited with them!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Strumble surprises yet again!

A late afternoon visit to Strumble had little of note bird-wise, apart from a fly past Red Throated Diver and a single male Scoter. I saw a few Porpoises to start with but just after Fran joined me she spotted some rather more energetic cetaceans, a pod of around 20-30 common Dolphins! Distance and poor light were against me but I did manage a few pic's!. At least these are safe from the Trawlers for the moment

Saturday, 4 January 2020

From Stevo!

Stephen Lucas

AttachmentsThu, 2 Jan, 17:37 (2 days ago)
to me
Strumble Head
Wednesday 1st January 2020
2:30- 5 pm
We all had an awesome survey at. Strumble Head. And it was an amazing
turnout of people 60 + strong at the lookout. It was a brilliant day
that we all remember  also we saw. Risso's Dolphins, about 6 or more
and also. Harbour Porpoises about 10-12 and they were feeding with the
gannets. At the time the tide was ebbing and quite strong and we also
saw. Cormorants, Goldeneye, Oyster catchers, lots of gull species as
well and some people saw. Grey Seals. It is amazing what we have got
right here on our doorsteps. Lets hope this year will bring loads
more. Wlidlife with their spectacular displays. It is fascinating what
we have got in this. Planet Earth lets protect all of the animals
that. God created great and small. It is powerful that we are so
blessed to have this wildlife. Anyhow that proves people. Are so
enthusiastic and its uplifting because when they see. Cetaceans in
their natural environment it is exciting and mouthwatering. Thank you.
Team Sea Trust for making this event so special very welcoming, It is
so great that people at the lookout get a good education about all of
our. Pembrokeshire Wildlife. An awesome day out had by all with. Team
Sea Trust and Power to the People.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

From Adrian, more later!

Attended the Seatrust Porpoise watch at Strumble today. Everybody in place at 2 p.m. at five past we were watching a group of 6 Risso's Dolphin passing very close which meant they were seen by all. A bit later odd animals were picked up but more distantly. Porpoises were showing practically throughout the whole watch again some quite close. Of bird interest a female Goldeneye went through which is a major rarity for the site & probably my first there.
Yep great to see you there Adrian, always good to have a proper Strumbler spotting stuff! Its always a bit of a gamble when you advertise an event that not only depends on the weather but also that wild animals such as porpoises will put in an appearance within the hour and a half of the watch! 
Porpoises Risso's and Grey Seals all close enough to be seen with the naked eye.Better still, some of  our  Sea Trust "Peoples Porpoise Photo ID group" Astrid, Lorraine, Emma and Lloyd were there helping to complete a survey and take photo's. They were rewarded with a clear image of Jupiter one of our most often recorded porp's. All in all a really successful event!
Risso's. Dolphins.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Porthcawl Porpoise Annual Sumary

I have continued my cetacean surveys at Porthcawl this year completing one each month in good conditions. The porpoise are usually a long way out so the survey is a telescope job. The results end up in Sewbrec, the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre. The results this year are: Jan 0 Feb 0 Mar 3 Apr 2 May 1 Jun 0 Jul 0 Aug 1 (a casual sighting in 50 mph winds while birding) Sep 4 Oct 2 Nov 2 Dec 1 While common dolphins have occasionally been seen there were no records this year.o

Nice one Steve and a great effort, Just goes to show how lucky we are here in the wild west!