Saturday, 2 October 2010

Vigilance pays off!

From the "Vigilance" (on contract to Briggs) via Dan Worth; a fine Leatherback Turtle with what may be an injury on its head, I cant make out if it is or not. Photographed off Saundersfoot in the first week of September.
Our renewed working relationship with Mark Williams and his crew, and Briggs offer to have us survey with them is great, cant wait for a bit of decent weather to get out on her again! A lot is made of Leatherbacks visiting our waters and it does seem they are recorded annually at least, although the big Rhisostoma/Barrel Jellyfish they eat have been less obvious around here and Rosslare in the past couple of years. They, Leatherbacks, can be huge I remember Steve Berry describing one he saw at Strumble as about the size of a ford fiesta!
As for the bottle with calf, Elfyn, it may be the same one Verena and I saw a couple of weeks ago. she seemed to be loosely associating with another adult animal. It may be she is not a part of any of the other families up north or has moved down here with her calf for a quiet life, it will be nice to know if she continues to hang around. I doubt a female with a calf is going to bother the porp's but three species of Cetacean in the same couple of square miles of sea and Risso's not that far away last week, just shows whata fantastically rewarding place Strumble can be for those willing to put the time ! I think there is a group of circa 50-60 Commons pretty much resident in the area at the moment but they split into smaller groups and are pretty mobile between here and St Davids Head.

Re mark on turtles head... according to Rod Penrose (Strandings) this is a marking naturally occuring on all Leatherback turtles heads, although it apparently fades when dead.