Friday, 25 September 2009

Strumble

Info from Elfyn Pugh who is staying in Pembrokeshire for a couple of weeks - It's 8am and I started my lonely vigil at Strumble. Slightly stiff and still tired following my walk to the summit of Carn Ingli yesterday with members of my family. What a delightful place with great panoramic views from the top. On our way up my brother in law's dog flushed a snipe from a boggy bit. The present anticyclonic weather is not popular with birders or birds it seems so I wasn't expecting much at Strumble today. I knew I should have had a lie in as the milk I had brought for my coffee had coagulated! Anyway the weather was calm with a light south westerly and sea state 'one' so it could turn out to be a good morning for cetacean watching. There was a steady movement of auks and kittiwakes but even the scoters seemed to have deserted the place as I only saw a couple all morning. 2 divers made an appearance and caught me off guard as they were going the 'wrong way' up the coast! Anyway it was a good chance to study the ever present porpoise although 'study' seems such an inappropriate phrase to use as we only ever witness a tiny fraction of their daily lives which takes place below the waves. I watched a grey seal cow coming up for air after a feeding foray.At 10am I saw a large gathering of gannets about 2 kilometres offshore and my heart raced with the anticipation of seeing dolphins and sure enough when I trained my scope on that area there was a lot of splashing activity going on below the gannets. I watched a group of approximately 20 common dolphins foraging and steadily making their way south. Their distinctive 'falcate' fins ruled them out as porpoise. There was the occasional 'breach' from some animals. Gannets plunge dived round about. So there we are it was well worth the effort coming down to Strumble this morning even though my body told me otherwise! I love this place you never know what's going to happen next! I was joined by a chap called Chris whom I had met a couple of days ago at Strumble. He was staying in a cottage up the road. Fortunately at 11.20am another group of common dolphins made an appearance at '12 o clock' to us and about the same distance out to sea. I presume they were the same animals I had seen earlier. There was a lot more leaping and splashing this time. It was great to be able to show Chris his first sighting of Common Dolphin and from Strumble Head too (another convert to this enchanting place!)