Wednesday, 20 June 2012

After the storm...

We started our second last minute ferry survey of the month yesterday with reasonable conditions about an hour after we cleared Strumble, where although there were lots of Gannets foraging about a mile to the south, the choppy conditions made sighting any porp's that would inevitably be below them impossible at that range.
With sea state two to three but lively after the weekends storms and a bright sun conditions were trying and despite some great spotting by Dave Cunnife and Cristina we finished the outward leg with only one small pod of Common Dolphins and a couple of Porpoises to show for our efforts.

Near as dammit the longest day and we relished our second bite of the evening return which I estimated would give us at least an hour of decent light. It did but our meagre reward was a single porpoise, despite the improving sea and lack of glare.

This morning looked pretty good as we awoke again in Rosslare and enjoyed a hearty breakfast. (Stena Line really do us proud!) Up on the bridge and Dave was really hoping for a Risso, a species still on his wanted list. Fair play! he found them himself, just past the Tusker latching on to a pod of five and soon after a second similar pod. A third followed and then after a hectic half hour things slowed right down but Dave was a very happy bunny. Cristina managed to find us what might have been the same small pod of commons we saw the previous day but with Sea state 1 verging on 0 we would have expected to see a lot more on the basis of last weeks bonanza. Porpoises began to feature about ten miles off Strumble with odd ones and twos every few minutes right until we passed Pen Anglas.

So two ferry surveys a mere week apart in similar mainly good conditions either side of a big storm. There were a good deal less sightings this week and much less bird life. Perhaps the plankton blooms were disrupted causing fish shoals to disperse and therefore also the birds and cetaceans?

One returning big cat was the Celtic Wildcat Heading for home at high speed after a couple of months in the frozen wastes of Ceredigion (Aberystwyth) Welcome home nick cant wait to get out with you next week . There are two spare seats for our trip on Saturday 30th of June due to a cancelation so get in touch with Rich on if you fancy a day out with us at a still very reasonable price of £60!