Thursday, 9 August 2012

Birds' Rock, New Quay

With a 0 sea state and maximum visibility it was a near-perfect day for dolphin watching but not so good for the yachts preparing for the New Quay regatta.

Arriving at the look-out, I could immediately see a huge, feeding event with diving gannets, gulls and what I took to be Storm Petrels. My first thought when I saw these birds was that they were House Martins - but they were dipping under the surface and then sitting on the water. It was impossible for me to even guess how many there were. A couple of other observers and I just thought "thousands". This feeding event, or series of events stretched over a distance of at least a mile. Bottlenose dolphins were well in evidence, lazily feeding under this enormous number of birds.

Over the following two hours over a dozen dolphins showed, with some breaching. They were not shy and approached several boats. At about 14.00 I noticed an unusual shape in the water and then realised that it was a Bottlenose "spyhopping". The first time that I have observed this behaviour.