Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Whale from a Welsh Boat!

Yesterday from the Stena Europe in completing the fifth year of at least one monthly Irish Sea survey from the Stena Europe, we sighted a Minke Whale in much the same place as we saw one five years ago! No idea if it was the same animal but sadly it is an Irish record rather than a Welsh one as it was in the vicinity of the Tusker Rock within sight of the Irish mainland.
It was particularly amusing, we were watching a feeding group of seabirds and I was just saying to fellow observers Mick Brown and Rich Crossen, that this was an area where we had seen Minke in the past. No sooner had the words passed my lips than we saw the back of the Minke break the surface giving a brief and tantalising glimpse, so typical of this inobtrusive pocket leviathon. Brief sightings of two common dolphins on the bow of the Stena Europe, and other sightings of porpoises gave us 3 species for what was otherwise quite an uneventful couple of days worth of trips.

The preceeding Sunday we set off on the Celtic Wildcat to survey our box in the Bristol Channel only to find conditions extremely lively upon reaching the NW corner. As the wind was coming from the SE it boded badly so we gave up and surveyed the Celtic Deep and around the Pembrokeshire Islands. A pod of around 20 common dolphins overhauled and joined us for several minutes but otherwise there was no other cetacean activity despite the steadily decreasing sea state.
allthingsgood, Cliff

(I should point out this Minke is one photographed by Tim Collier in Scotland)