Sunday, 10 November 2019

Risso's For the Saturday Team! at Strumble....

Image may contain: ocean, water, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: ocean, water, outdoor and nature

Our tradition of sighting Risso's at Strumble during the Autumn/Winter was continued by lloyds Saturday volunteers with these beauties putting in an appearance and showing well yesterday!

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

From Bethan Evans

Three good sightings of a large otter fishing close in to the inner breakwater, Fishguard Harbour Lower Town side, approx 1/2 way along, yesterday am around 10.00 hrs
Thanks for this Bethan! 

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Autumn Porpoise Watch 03/11/2019

I think the whole of the Sea Trust team has spent most of last week keeping an eye on the weather as things were not looking good for the Autumn Porpoise Watch arranged for today Sunday 3rd November. As day after day of rain passed over, then gales lashing the coast was it going to be wiped out?  No! Thankfully a day of sunshine as if ordered by the gods of sea watching as the early morning rain gave way to lovely blue skies with scattered cloud. Much effort went in to bringing displays and gear to the lookout in readiness for the three hour session. Even our new life size inflatable porpoise made the trip.

So with everything set up and several volunteers and staff present we set about starting the watch and hoping we would see some visitors come visit as well.

As you can see they did come and these above are of some of those who joined us for the survey. Some thirty four in total which was lovely to see. Now to the sightings of the session.
    The tide was on the turn with the ebb flow just starting the porpoise were a bit slow so we amused ourselves watching this seasons young seal pups doing their best to catch octopus only to get them stolen by greedy gulls. It's a hard lesson for them but in the next week or so they'll have learnt how to keep their food fore themselves. Here's a few shots of the action.

        Better luck next time.

        Afraid not!!

The distraction

The swoop

The snatch

Ok! Which one of you nicked my lunch.

A beady eyed Fran then spotted a group of Rissos Dolphin off to the NW and moving west toward St Davids Hd. All eyes on them then as we followed their progress trying to get as many shots as we could before they rounded the island and went out of sight. Much to the delight of all they moved quite slowly giving all a chance to get a good look and enabling us to get a reasonable estimate of some 12 to 15 animals.

Lastly a special mention to the Heritage Lottery fund. Life size inflatable replica sea mammals don't come cheaply and are hard to obtain.  So our thanks go to them for financing the purchase of our new addition which we can use educationally both at the Ocean Lab and when we go out into the community to deliver talks on what we do and what we hope to achieve.

The next event could be "Hug a Porpoise Day" as Holly ably demonstrates here. What do you think?

Monday, 28 October 2019

Something a bit Different

Instead of my usual outing to Strumble today I decided to join the Monday gang on a seal survey to Aber Felin just below Llanwnda and a mile or so to the west of Pen Anglas. We parked up by the church then made our way down the tracks through the fields until we joined the coast path. A short hop east brought us to a section which overlooks Aber Felin bay. The bay has three pebble beaches and between them and individuals perched on rocks there were a total of nineteen seals with a mix of male/female adults, juveniles and pups. With a keen NE wind catching us head on in our exposed position it wasn't the easiest of shooting locations with the camera getting buffeted about quite a bit. I was happy enough with the results though and have to say I enjoyed the challenge of shooting these lovely creatures at long distance ranging from 600-1,000 ft.

The Monday gang

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Strumble diary: stormy Porp's

A late afternoon visit to Strumble with the tide dropping and a north easterly gale. The sea was something of a maelstrom and i did not much fancy our chances of seeing any porpoises. As such, it hardly seemed worth getting out of the wind buffeted car so I scanned the halfheartedly foaming breakers more in hope than expectation.
But surprise surprise a shaft of sunlight illuminated a wave crest as a couple of Porpoises surfed below and then broke the surface. I was still convinced i was probably wasting my time but several more sightings and then a gang of half a dozen chasing each other splashing and slashing through the tide ripped sea made me realize that i should get out of the car with the camera and try and get a shot.
Unfortunately they were moving past on the tide and further away. Loads of action with groups of up to ten briefly showing in the foaming wave caps, it was incredibly frustrating trying to get anything in my lens. Its a minor miracle i got anything at all so i am not going to apologize for my sad pic's!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Strumble starters....

I arrived today at 10.30. the tide had topped an hour earlier and was just  pushing back to the west out beyond Mackerel Rock. It was an uneasy sea with swells crashing against the foot of the cliffs with a steady nor' westerly blowing against the tide creating choppy waves.
It was hard going and I sat fruitlessly searching for an hour until my first brief view at 11.30. It did not get much better and by 12.15 I had to go.
As I was leaving Ken arrived followed by Holly and the Wednesday Gang, I hope they had more success than me!
Ps Thanks for the Portuguese Man o' war report Rich! 

Portuguese Man O'War

Okay not a cetacean but a pretty amazing sea creature. There have been several reports over the last few days of Portuguese Man O'War washing up on beaches in Cornwall and Wales - no doubt a result of all the recent stormy weather.

At Freshwater West this morning I found 18 of them. The one pictured was out on the sand just a few feet from the retreating waves but all the others were up at the back of the beach on the strand line amongst the pebbles. The flotation bladders ranged in size from just a couple of inches to 6 to 8 inches. If you go out to find one admire but don't touch as the tentacles carry a very painful sting.

Also, sadly, on the beach 4 Grey Seal carcases - all pups - in various states of decay.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Strumble diary 15/10/2019

A break in the weather gave us the promise of a sunny morning at strumble. Arriving at 09.45am I was ahead of the tide. Just a couple of porpoise seen in the first hour or so then when the tide race formed more started coming in. Holly and the Tuesday crew arrived so we all set about spotting the porps as they popped up here and there. Marked porp and our most regular visitor Denty made an appearance and toward the end of the session I spotted a couple of very distant Rissos.