Friday, 7 August 2009

Whales like Wales!

As Rich says our meeting with the Fin Whales was tantalising and the views brief. However it does confirm the fact that late summer is becoming a season in the cetacean calendar of the southern Irish Sea when given the right conditions we hope to see these massive Fin Wales. Recent sightings include animals in the Western Bristol Channel and of course they are well known to overwinter off the southern Irish Coast. bit by bit we piece together a jigsaw picture of the marine wonders that lie just beyond our shores! For photos of Thursday's trip and previous ones click here.

Another fascinating allbeit smaller sea creature also made a splash for Adrian Rodgers:

Hi Cliff ,
Had a large sunfish at Strumble this evening , it breached 3 times. I haven't seen this before but i think others have, as far as i can remember.

Yep Sunfish do breach although of course anyone who has seen one of these wierd disk shaped seemingly tailless creatures will find it hard to believe! In effect they heave themselves out of the water flexing their bodies and using their long flipper like anal and dorsal fins to add leverage to fling themselves horizontally out of the water. This can result in multiple leaps that I have described ; "as being like a dimented tiddleywink". Wikkipedia describes the ones we see here as "outside of their normal range" but we have been seeing them reasonably frequently from July into October since the 1970's.