Monday, 4 October 2010

Up north with Michael Rich!

Hi Cliff, pictures taken last Monday at North Stack Anglesey.

Porp pics taken at very long range, so quality not brill

regards Michael
Hmm one of the most difficult of all our cetaceans to photograph Mike, well done mate and keep
sending them in please!
Whilst on the subject of porpoises...I should also like to comment on Michael's photo on the right, that this looks like a behaviour i have referred to in the past as "leap-frogging", where one animal seems to leap over or onto another. It seems to be largely a winter game from my observations in the past but probably not exclusively so. I have caught it on video in the past and I think I remember Janet Baxter also recorded it in a stills sequence.
Why they should be "leap-frogging" is open to conjecture but presumably it has some purpose of one porpoise conveying some message to the other. My favourite theory is that the leaping animal is pestering its mother having been weaned, something I have noticed in dogs (I often get the impression the interaction is between a well grown juvenile and an adult) although there often seems to be another animal in reasonably close attendence, sometimes a small calf.
On the other hand it may be courtship behaviour...
Hi Cliff,
I went to Strumble on Saturday between 0815 and midday. There was a constant feeding flock of Gannets mostly in front of the observatory but fairly loose in concentration. They were diving often and on occasion I noted that a bird would surface with quite a large fish. It would appear that there was plenty of food in the area. The feeding dropped off just after midday and by 1230 there was just an odd bird or so in view. For most of the morning, I estimated from counts that there were at least 150 Gannets in view at any one time. Associated with this was an excellent display from the Porpoises. At one point, it seemed that anywhere I looked, there was a Porpoise. I did some slow scans and on several occasions I logged 20 individuals and I was certain that they were different individuals. However, there must have been many more than this. I have not experienced this amount of both Gannets and Porpoises for that length of time for a long time if ever. I noted from the blog that Elfyn had been at the Head for the week before me and had seen similar situations.


Yep Colin, thanks for this. I was there yesterday afternoon and had similar counts that would suggest at least sixty animals present, spread out over a large area (as were the 60 + gannets) , although they were not being particularly showy. This also matches up with recent reports from Stevo Lucas, and Richard Stonier.