Thursday, 17 May 2012

Porps from Phil and porps from the ferry...

Hi Cliff

At Pen Brush 1 mile south west of Strumble Head this morning (17th) circa 10am. 6 - 8 porps about 400 m out foraging in a tidal race at the end of the ebb tide. Good number of diving Gannets around too. Sea state generally calm with an easterly breeze force 2
and yesterday...
I couldn't resist getting out late this afternoon, as conditions were almost perfect. Went down to Trwyn Llwyd Trefin and was rewarded with another sighting of a solitory porp, (perhaps the same solitory porp I saw yesterday) on the flood tide about a mile off the coast this time. It was only visible with the scope and was feeding in the same area on and off for about half an hour. As you know from the ferry trip sea state was calm with a gentle light westerly breeze. I have seen porps from the Trefin/Porthhgain coast on many occasions over the last 3 years I've been looking and generally it is a solitory one. I wonder if it is the same animal, perhaps a loner from the Strumble group? Be great to know more!

All the best.


Interestingly we  (Rich Crossen, Cristina Munillo and self were on the Stena Europe, Wed/Thurs. We started spotting Porpoises off Strumble and they continued to be seen most of the way across until conditions moved up a notch to SS3 and then sightings declined.
On the way back this morning the conditions were much the same starting a lumpy SS2-3  off Rosslare gentling down to SS1-0 off Strumble. Sightings were hard to come by, Rich caught a glimpse of a Common Dolphin but little else untill we were well into Welsh waters with one group of four lungeing Porps about ten miles off Strumble. As we approached Strumble the sea was flat calm , no tide race , no birds no porpoises.

As we approached Fishguard the bay out towards Dinas Island and out to the north suddenly seemed to be full of porpoises all pretty much spread out and mostly quite distant. We estimated around twenty but that would be a minimum. Funnily enough they seemed to dissappear as quickly as they appeared as we headed into port.
I agree Phil, the anonymity of Porpoises continues to be a source of real frustrationdto those of us who try and study them. Is the porpoise today the same one you saw yesterday or even the same one that popped up in the same place a minute ago????? aaaargh! Useful to have peripheral (?) sightings outside the "normal" bounds around Strumble though.
It would seem the weather is still pretty cool and unsettled and there were not that  many sea birds around. So far I have only seen one puffin in the middle sector of the ferry route they usually favour. Perhaps the fish just arent there yet...