Saturday, 23 June 2012

Brian Garrett to me
I spent a couple nights in Fishguard from Tuesday 19th June to Thursday 21st June. Went to Strumble on the Tuesday and Wednesday and Porpoises were every where. Also on all three days I saw Bottle-nose Dolphins off the main breakwater in Fishguard. Difficult to be exact about numbers but probably 4+ including a youngster. It's a fantastic area and it must be the premier spot for Porpoise in the UK? Why so many in one area and yet in whole regions of our coastline you are lucky to see one or two Porpoise? Also with all the food which must be around Strumble Head why don't the Bottle-nosed Dolphins feed in the same area. When walking from Strumble to Fishguard I saw Porpoise easily for half of the walk and then the Bottle-nosed Dolphins appear to predominate from there onwards up the coast past Newquay etc? I'm not very familiar with the coast from there on. Are there a lot of Porpoises along that coast?

Hi Brian its been a busy week and just catching up.

Yep as you say and as we have been trying to make clear for several years there are few places in Europe that have any better claim as the best porpoise location other then Strumble.

Politically? its been ignored by those who pretend to know things and produce atlases but fail to source our data which is freely available from the Local Records Office.

The Bottlenose situation in Cardigan Bay also has political conotations that we try and remain clear of , but what is extremely obvious from our observations in recent years is that Fishguard Bay/ Pen Anglas is the southern boundary for Bottlenose habitual activity. Its probably a habitat thing inasmuch Fishguard Bay is the first part of Cardigan bay to conform to the general characteristic of the area that they seem to prefer , eg. shallow shelving beaches with estuaries (large Small) that attract migrating fish which are vulnerable to their particular hunting methods.

Although only a couple of miles further south, the Sea bed and its characteristics alter significantly to the porpoises favour... to deeper rocky seabed, reefs , high energy tidal features (see "Porpoise Ponderings" earlier this month for some thoughts on the subject)

We caught up with the Fishguard Harbour bottles after our Ferry Survey (see one mother and calf photographed yesterday off the beakwater ) and from what little we could see , due to their extremely restrained behaviour it appeared thet there was definately one, possibly, two mothers with calves and I estimated at least four other animals within the group. Please see one oftr Mother and Calf photographed on Thursday from Fishguard Harbour above.

Thanks for your report Brian if you are in the area again it would be good to meet up, we will put you on our mail list, allthingsgood, cliff