Sunday, 16 September 2018

Introducing "Dash"

Well Strumble was like a washing machine the other day and both Lloyd or myself managed to get anything decent in the way of porpoise images. They were there but not in the recent numbers and were very hard to capture. So as I was on my way home I saw several gannets circling the end of the breakwater. Worth a look I thought and indeed I found four bottlenose there but they were not very lively at all. It was as if they were only there for a rest. I was about to go when I spotted more coming in so I held on a while and noted about another ten animals in a reasonably tight group. I was surprised to see that they had left a very young calf with the two juveniles that were there originally and all except one adult spread themselves across the bay and were having a good forage chasing fish everywhere. But this entry is mostly about Dash as I have named him/her as it's such a cute little thing and on it's left flank and around it's head are several markings resembling Morse Code dashes. Anyway have a look, especially at image no six  and you'll see what I mean. Lastly, I couldn't leave out the very photogenic Grey Seal that was dozing and posing amongst the blocks at the end of the breakwater. Too good to miss.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Four of Pembrokeshire's big five seen this week from Strumble/Fishguard...

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Up to 20 Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen around the Fishguard Harbour this week!

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Risso's seem to have returned to Strumble area this month!

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Mother Porpoise with calf
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After a strange shortage of sightings over the summer Holidays Porpoise's  are back in numbers! 

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Up to 40 common Dolphins seen off Pen Caer /Strumble this week!

A busy Summer with five excellent interns only just managing to keep up with our shedule of

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Strumble Diary 13/09/2018

Thanks to Phil for his previous post report as we also saw them passing just prior to that time.

Another excellent morning at Strumble today with a second showing in two days by Droopy one of our more distinctive porps and again in the company of another adult and calf. The action was almost non stop with porpoise as well as that passing pod of Commons. While watching the commons in the background we spotted a few Rissos as well moving east toward Fishguard Bay. Quite distant and in turbulent swells so I only managed a fin shot of one of them although there were three to four in all.

From Phil Lees...

Hi Folks
I saw 15 - 20 Common Dolphins feeding off Trwyn Llwyd, Porth Sychan (about  
1 mile east of Strumble Head) at about 2.15pm today. Visible for around 10  
minutes before disappearing westwards. No porps seen. All the best, Phil.

Phil Lees 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Strumble Diary 12/09/2018

Three of the big five today at Strumble. I arrived just before 9am an hour short of high tide to find two birders in the lookout. The report was of distant commons and three Rissos an hour earlier. I was miffed that I'd missed the Rissos but hopeful to see them on the dropping tide. A couple of porps left after the flood tide were milling about a half mile out to the north but it went quiet then over slack water until we spotted the Commons way off to the NNE but too far for photos. As the ebb started Holly and the team arrived for their survey and we all set about recording the many porpoise that were now moving in. Although the numbers were good the very strong spring tide was preventing them from reaching the lookout and they were mostly showing just to the west. As I was scanning through the lens the unmistakable fins of the three Rissos came into sight. At this point I broke the golden rule of taking my eye off them as I described to Holly where they were "Oh yes" she said as she started shooting away but try as I might I couldn't find them again until they were well passed, so only record shots this time. On a plus note though we did capture Droopy, one of our more easily identifyable porpoise with it's bent over fin (see last two images) which sort of made up for my Rissos faux pas.

I love that Strumble is really producing world class cetacean watching at the moment. Its probably the best place to see a porpoise anywhere in the world. We have an "Adopt a Porpoise scheme which will help to pay some of the costs of our Porpoise survey work. As yet droopy is not adopted!If you would like to adopt a Strumble Porpoise get in touch with Holly (

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Strumble and Breakwater 09/09/2018

Quite a busy day today on the cetacean front. Gone were the Common dolphin of the past couple of days and back were the Strumble porpoise and bottlenose off the breakwater. So with the ebb tide underway and clearing skies I set off for Strumble. Volunteer Loraine was already there and a couple of birders were avidly watching over the sea. Once we started seeing porpoise they were increasing all the time but most sightings were brief and difficult in the large swells. It made for an exciting session though with top concentration needed at all times. As the tide dropped away the porpoise moved off to the west so I decided to head back.
 As I came down Stop and Call hill I could see gannets over the breakwater so I decided to check it out. Cliff and Holly were already there but it seemed the dolphin weren't. Back to the lab then and while there I spotted gannets over the inner bay. A quick look through the binos and sure enough the dolphin were there. Back out to the breakwater then and a good hour or so of watching first three and then more arrive. Sadly the larger group seemed to just pass through but it was nice to see them all the same.

An unusual and somewhat amusing sight if taken out of context was seeing a Pheasant of all things swimming in the sea. But alas the pheasant had been resting on the blocks when we startled it. Now as they can only fly short distances and seeing it's nearly a 1/2 mile between the breakwater and the fort side of the bay the poor thing had to ditch. It did manage to take off again but over the distance we lost sight of it and are not sure if it made it to the other side of the bay. See the last six images.