Friday, 15 July 2011

Ferry survey shock, no Minke's !

A common dolphin off the bow of the Stena Europe (CB)

A last minute decision to catch the last of the calm spell had Verena and myself aboard the Stena Europe yesterday. Several pods of common dolphin showed, with a small pod of Risso's and also porpoises seen .
The ferrys new schedule starting fifteen minutes earlier at nine PM gave us an hour of daylight on the return which with flat calm seas should on recent experience produced at least one Minke but apart from a porpoise sighting the unruffled expanse of briny remained undisturbed by cetaceans of any other description. Three species of cetacean, forty odd common dolphins 3 Risso's and a handful of porpoises would be considered pretty good going for under five hours of watching most places around the world but on recent precedents seemed a bit dull! The lack of Minke's given the perfect conditions last night came as a bit of a shock! It seems to me there was a sudden influx of Minke's which has ebbed away again but hopefully not forever!
Some Porpopises with Dutch researchers, Ernst and Stephen at Strumble today was pleasant, they were in the chop of the tiderace and difficult to see but probably a dozen or so... Great to meet up with Ernst again after his sterling work with Malcolm a couple of winters ago!
Strumble (mother and calf) Porps: Michael Rich

From Phil Lees...

Hi Cliff
Spent an hour around low tide at Pen Pedol (Ramsey Sound) today. Porps showing really well in the calm conditions - appeared to be 4 adults and 2 calves.

All the best.
and from Stevo...

Thursday 14th July
Chris and I went to Strumble Head at 10:00am . We saw 3-4 Harbour Porpoises maybe more in the ebbing tide. The gannets were diving and circling in the area where the porpoises that we've sighted . The sea conditions was flat clam and not a ripple. And the sun was shinning brightly.
Strumble porp: Michael Rich.

Ps, just noticed Rich has altered the WinW banner pic's , nice one Rich!