Monday, 30 November 2020

Return to Ramsey Sound

Since lock-down ended, Sea Trust has been slowly rebuilding our Peoples Porpoise Project with Holly building in the necessary  health and safety /distancing aspects so she could get her team of volunteers back on surveys. Remarkable we now have six out of seven days covered by Holly's teams. She has recruited several new volunteers and trained up two new team leaders  Hannah WJ for Saturdays , Mair E for Sunday's team with Fran E continuing to lead Mondays team.

Firstly Strumble came on line, followed by Pen Anglais. A communication break down with our friends at Treginnis City Children's farm, a crucial partner in terms of them allowing our volunteers to be able to park an at the farm and access  Ramsey Sound  survey site needed resolving so Fran and I took advantage of today's good weather and popped down to Treginnis and met up with the guys at Treginnis, Dan and James.

Happily on meeting up, they were very supportive, They were on Furlough and therefore not manning the phone etc.  They were both happy for us to continue using the farm to access the Ramsey Sound site. As such, Fran and I  popped down to the sound and found the porpoises at the southern end of Ramsey Sound. I managed to get a couple of record shots of animals among the overfalls of the dropping tide.even in lots of glare.

At about 14 hundred hours, Fran noticed some making their way north  back up  the Sound, We got back to the Copper Mine in time to catch them heading past the Bitches getting a few more shots.! A great day out. Pic's not up to much with my small camera but I enjoyed trying to get record shots!

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Strumble Diary 29/11/2020 Score (Rissos 8 Porpoise 1)

 The title says it all really. A beautiful morning at Strumble today with slightly hazy sunshine and a light SE wind blowing offshore. The ebb tide was starting and I was looking forward to a good session. Things were looking slow at first with plenty of bird action off to the NE (mostly gulls) but not a lot happening on the fin front. A long way out to the north I spotted the splash of a fast moving animal as it parted the surface. Closer study showed it to be a juvenile Rissos dolphin and as I scanned around a couple more were observed doing likewise. They were in company with an adult animal which is quite common for Rissos and further observation allowed me to pick up a close but separate group of a further four adults. I watched them for as long as I could before they went out of veiw beyond the island. Some time passed before I spotted a single porpise making it's way up against the tide but sadly it didn't come as far as the lookout and I didn't get a shot of it either. Mair and Hannah arrived for the Sunday survey with a further two volunteers so having completed a three hour watch I left the rest of the tide to them.



Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Goose Barnacles


A lovely walk in the sunshine at Freshwater  West this morning. At the back of the beach I came across this tree stump covered in Goose Barnacles which I have never seen before.

Before it was realised that birds migrate it was thought that Barnacle Geese developed from this crustacean, since they were never seen to nest in southern Europe, hence the names  "goose barnacle", "barnacle goose”. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Strumble Diary 24/11/2020

 Out early in the tide and met up with Holly, Rubina, Telva and Hannah the Tuesday crew. We set up and started our survey. A southerly wind blowing offshore gave reasonable conditions out in front of us but as is expected on overcast days in Autumn the light was fair to poor. We waited well into the session before the first porpoise was sighted and we saw six or so feeding as the tide race formed before we had to call it a day. To brighten our day a little Snow Bunting landed in front of the lookout, stayed for a couple of minutes before heading east toward Fishguard. 

Friday, 20 November 2020

Strumble otter from Stevo!


Stephen Lucas

Thu, 19 Nov, 22:41 (11 hours ago)
to me
Thursday 19th November 2020

Mum, Dad, and I went to. Strumble Head on Thursday and saw an Otter swimming slowly towards. Fishguard. The sea conditions was quite rough. NW winds.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Strumble Diary 18/19 November

 Holly and Ruby braved rain and gales to visit Strumble yesterday, several porpoises seen but not surprisingly no  pic's 

Today's northerly winds brought out the birdwatchers who had quite a good birding day but also reported several porpoises (Adrian Rogers)

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Strumble Diary 15/11/2020

 Another day, another gale but still they come. Porpoises that is. Yes, our little porpoises have to feed no matter what the weather. Each has to consume 2-2.5Kg of fish a day to stay healthy whilst doing so in as energy efficient manner as possible. To achieve this they use the tide race to bring their food to them and as it speeds along they pick off the passing prey. With four tides a day this is what makes Strumble Hd restaurant central for our hungry little friends. 

Not so many as yesterday but enough for me to be able to capture some pics before they got swept out west with the ebb tide. I've included a short video of the conditions for you to see the sort of seas they have to battle through to go get dinner.




Saturday, 14 November 2020

Strumble Diary 14/11/2020

 The light this morning was very challenging but thankfully the porps were there in numbers to make up for it. Big tides at present so lots of fast flowing water for them to feed without expending too much effort. The first sightings were of five or so animals well out to the North that just passed through.  As the race increased so more came in to feed with a total estimate of 15-20 for the session. Numbers have been quite low of late so it was good to see so many today.

Friday, 13 November 2020

Man O’ War


On a walk along a wind blasted Freshwater West beach this morning there were two Portuguese Men O’War. Perhaps there will be a wreck of them coming as in October last year.

Also, sadly, a long, long line of tiny plastic particles along the tide line. What are we doing to our Planet!

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Shark!! She called

Today's session gave me one of the surprises of the year. It started very quietly with not much moving in the water or in the air. A short while in Holly and Ruby arrived and we set to for our survey dodging the odd shower as they moved over. Not a single fin for the first hour and a half and it didn't look likely that we would see any porpoise as the tide race was a very weak affair. Holly was scanning with the binos and said "I think there's a couple of Rissos over there" only in the next breath to shout "Shark, it's a Basking Shark!! I've not seen Holly so excited for a long time. 

While Holly was taking stills I  reached for my second camera that I keep set up for video and mounted it on the big lens. I think a sighting as rare as this deserves a bit of motion as in my seven or so years doing Sea Trust surveys this is the first time I've seen a Basker at Strumble and in general my first in some twenty years. Many years ago through the 60's to the 90's they were common visitors to southern Cardigan Bay but as the waters have warmed their migration tracks seem to have changed and they favour going up the west coast of Ireland, but they do come up the Irish Sea I would guess, sticking to the more favourable waters of the central channel and can be seen in good numbers off the Isle Of Man.  So very happy today and yet again Strumble delivers.