Friday, 1 June 2012

Newquay Bottlenoses

Just back from a few days in Newquay, Ceredigion. On Tuesday on the way up we stopped in at Mwnt where 2 Bottlenoses were in close to the cliffs and way off, over by Cardigan Island, there was a group of 6 more. On to Newquay and in perfect, sunny, flat calm conditions there Bottlenoses to be seen. It seemed to me that, at present, they are favouring Newquay in the morning as the following day on Wednesday, we were down at the harbour wall at 7 a.m. and over the next 3 hours had some excellent views of Bottlenoses. Conditions were, again, flat calm with excellent visibility and there we saw at least 30 Dolphins though many were a long way out. Several did, however, come quite close in and one individual passed within 10 feet of the harbour wall, turning on it's side as it passed to show the white belly. There were many quite large Sand Eels close in though I would have thought that they would be after larger prey such as Mackerel. This animal stayed close in for some time and provided a nice shot of the tail as it dived. There was a fair bit of play between animals though they were a little out of range of even a long lens. One Dolphin slapped it's tail hard against a jellyfish floating on the surface, smashing it - see pic. In the afternoon the Dolphins seemed to have moved off again. They (6 or so) were back again the next morning although conditions were dull with a choppy sea making observation more difficult. Newquay is surely one of the best places in the UK to see Bottlenose Dolphins from the shore.