Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Celtic Wildcat goes Continental

With Cliff nearing the end of his marathon Dolphinathon I went out on the Sea Trust Dolphin Survey on the Celtic Wildcat today. Amongst the 9 guests we were joined by three lads from Belgium - our first booking from the Continent!
Conditions were a little rougher than forecast, particularly in the afternoon, but certainly acceptable and what a joy to get out after so much windy weather and cancellations in July and August. The trip started off well with three Dolphins shortly after leaving the Haven and a further 12 an hour and a half into the trip which came and joined the boat briefly. There were also superb views of a small group of Gannets diving close to the boat into a shoal of fish which must have been very close to the surface. Grassholm was the usual magnificent spectacle with the added bonus of a number of this year's young Gannets close by on the sea and some seals on the rocks.
We then headed out to The Smalls and beyond getting out 24 miles or so from St Anne's Head. The sea picked up somewhat in the afternoon but we continued to see small groups of Dolphins some of which came over to the boat briefly and in all we saw just over 70 Common Dolphins including quite a few young calves.
On the Bird front highlights were 2 Great Skuas and 3 Storm Petrels as well as good numbers of Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes and Auks.