Saturday, 22 November 2014

Sea Trust find Common Dolphin super-pod on the BBC "One Show"

For those who missed the program...

Friday, 21 November 2014

20/11/14 Stena Europe survey

Wednesday we started our survey aboard the Stena Europe. As the day went by, sea conditions were getting rougher reaching sea state 5, so we decided it was time to finish. Still we got a couple of porpoises in our way.

Weather forecast for thursday seemed good enough and it didn't disappoint us.  Sea state 2-3 all the way, we got porpoises and common dolphins, and even a mysterious blow!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

SeaTrust on The One Show!

Finally, the dolphin film is going to be out tonight between 19:00 and 19:30, after the news. In case you miss it, we will upload the link as soon as possible!

Sea Trust Ferry Surveys: Simultaneous North and South Irish Sea surveys

I am really proud to announce that as I write, we have survey  teams aboard the Stena Nordica currently plying its route from Holyhead to Dublin and the Stena Europe en route from Rosslare to Fishguard.
Amazingly we have been able to catch a short weather window for both crossings and will have a handle on cetacean activity at both locations. 
This would not be possible without the fantastic support of Stena Line shore management  allowing us to board their ships at extreme short notice and the permission and encouragement of the ships Masters, Officers and Crew!  Thanks Stena!!!
More to follow!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Strumble Porpoise Diary

We arrived just before slack water so not a lot of activity, but five or six animals seen.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

From Michael Bunney:

I saw dolphins breaching at Strumble Head at lunchtime today (yesterday). Probably just 2-3 adults amongst the tide race off the Head. 

Looks probable that  they were the Risso's we have been seeing there over the past few weeks! (Cliff) 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Blast from the past.

Yesterday 14/11/14

12 years ago 16th November 2002.

Almost exactly twelve years ago I was watching Risso's at Strumble. This was my attempt at recording them with not particularly brilliant sketches. I have lots of records like this in dairy's and field notebooks going back to the 1980's.

But I had no computer only a word processor and so probably a few more records are lost on defunct floppy discs. Either way we have plenty of evidence to suggest that The Strumble Head tidal systems regularly attract Risso's as well as the ubiquitous porpoises and have done for the past 25 years and more. 

There has been an absolute revolution in technology that we almost take for granted. 
The image at the top was made with a camera we just purchased for £320. An idiot proof "bridge" camera with a 50x stabalised zoom. Equipment like this, small and portable  The Risso's were hardly visible to the naked eye probably a mile away.

Having downloaded the images onto my computer i can further enlarge them and actually discern scars etc by which we may be able to identify them.We have come a long way since 2002! (Still enjoy reading through my old dairy's though!) 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Strumble Diary we love it...and so do the Risso's!

We decided to do a click count at Strumble but there were no porpoises in our first five minute scan and by the end of the second I got the feeling that we were too early on the ebb tide.

And then as I scanned back I noticed something break the water which I first thought to be a seal. I nearly ignored it but a passing gull also hesitated over the spot and so I gave it another few seconds and the lovely tall raked fin of a Risso's surfaced.

moments later a second and then a third Risso's  appeared I had just invested in a new  Cannon bridge camera that I was told was a lot quicker at taking shots than the old one, and so it was!

Considering these animals were about a mile away when the pictures are blown up they are still quite crisp at 50x It seems unbelievable for the money. It fires off like a machine gun!

So yet another Strumble Risso's record. We have been recording them here since the 1980's. 
Along with the Porpoises they have been a regular and important  feature.  We have tried to get Strumble and its associated tidal features protection but it keeps falling on deaf ears.
As we amass more and more evidence surely the powers that be, cannot  keep listening to so called experts that are ignorant of or prefer to turn a blind eye to the facts, 

Sea Trust are the only ones actually monitoring cetaceans in the Irish Sea throughout the year, year on year, on an almost daily basis. Nobody knows the southern Irish sea and Bristol Channel better than us.... 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fishguard Porp's

My Partner Freddie was out on the Fishguard Harbour Breakwater when she phoned us to say there were several porpoises close in to the end of the breakwater. Cristina and self dropped everything, grabbed bins and cameras and headed off to join her.

They had moved out a bit by the time we got there but I managed to get a few shots before they began to move back with the ebbing tide. With Cristina also filming them we should have a nice record of these winter porps which included at least seven individuals including two mother and calf pairs.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

WOW! Porpoises put on a show to finish off our three day cetacean course...

Risso's on our first day, Bottles on our second and then some really good Porpoises in Ramsay Sound to finish off our course! 

Typical side view of porpoise (Dai Powell) 
There can be no guarantees but we really do expect porpoises and Bottles on our three day
cetacean courses,  The Risso's are a bonus but recently they seem to be turning up quite regularly.
Front view (Dai Powell) 

Mother and calf  (Dai Powell) 
Its really satisfying when things all work out and everyone has had a good time, This is the last course for 2014, but we will be running more again next year. We will post details when dates are confirmed....