Friday, 27 November 2009

Worst November for cetacean monitoring

Splashy Porp & Distant Risso's: Images; Steve Rosser

After a couple of fantastic months of sightings in September and October, winter came with a vengance. This will be the first month without a Stena Ferry survey since Adrian Rodger and myself did the first one in April 2004. It almost looked like we might salvage things with a last minute trip this weekend but the weather window that had looked promising slammed shut with more gales forcasted. It has been pretty stormy, predominently from the SW, which at least makes watching from north facing Strumble possible. It can't go on forever and we often seem to get a settled spell around the end of December which seems to produce Risso's for the more resilient watchers. They are not usually very showy but will occasionally breach making a huge splash. More often they pass like grey ghosts, easy to miss and often hard to relocate after surfacings. Of course our Porpoises which were absent for some time in the early summer after the scallop dredging are back and seem to be pretty active; as Mark W witnessed yesterday...

Small pod of porpoises seen, one leapt clear of the water, (1st time I have seen one airborne!).
// posted by MarkW (Pemb's Bird Blog , yesterday)