Sunday, 23 May 2010

Strumble Head

Saturday 22nd May was a good day for observations - calm seas, fine, sunny weather, if a little misty in the distance. From arriving at 11.00 a.m. porpoises were very much in evidence and gannet and gull activity suggested a lot of feeding. At mid-day I noticed a group of "porpoises" which were behaving differently - a group of 4 - 5 were much more active, moving more quickly and lunging through the water, presumably chasing fish. They also showed themselves clear of the water and then I realised that their flanks were tan in colour ahead of and below the dorsal fin. I'm guessing that these were Common Dolphin. Later in the afternoon a small group of observers from Orca turned up and together we saw impressively large numbers of porpoises. It seemed that wherever you looked there were porpoises. Apart from the sheer numbers, two things were notable; a porpoise that came quite close inshore had a truncated, damaged dorsal, and several times we saw smaller (juvenile ?) porpoises apparently flung or flipped out of the water.