Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Gannets everywhere

Stevo Lucas "on watch"

I had a look at Strumble on Sunday around early afternoon. The very big tides at the moment are difficult to judge at Strumble with eddies and counter eddies that seem to bear no relation to the tide table. Consequently the view from the car park revealed a relatively flat sea, with little tidal activity. This is the time when most porpoises seem to take a nap and apart from one individual seen briefly surfacing, this appeared to be the case.

The presence of over 50 gannets dotted about on the surface, (unprecedented at this time of the year), just lounging about was worthy of note. Any but the odd one or two travelling gannets passing by are relatively scarce. The fact they were dotted around on the surface is reminiscent of the summer months when large aggregations can be seen feeding over porpoises. As the tide slackens activity ceases and they settle on the surface awaiting the next tide.

Short days and bad weather are the bane of the winter cetacean watcher, but the presence of this large group of Gannets may be a clue not to be ignored. If there are lots of fish there, it must be an attraction for cetaceans.