Thursday, 22 August 2013

Manorbier Dolphins

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday a rearranged trip on the Celtic Wildcat had to be aborted a mile or so off St Anne's Head as overnight winds had kicked the sea up into a a very short and choppy sea. The boat could certainly take it but conditions were just too rough to continue with a survey.

Today the sea is flat calm and the overcast sky makes for perfect cetacean spotting with no glare to detract the eye. I went for a walk along the coast path by Manorbier and a quick scan showed 20 or more Common Dolphins spread over quite a wide area between a half mile and mile out off Old Castle Head. All were travelling slowly eastward up channel with, it appeared, a little fishing going on and just a few leaping clear of the water. This is only the second time I have seen Common Dolphins off Manorbier in 8 years or more of walking this stretch of the coast on a fairly regular basis. Are they often out there but hidden from view unless conditions are perfect? Interesting that Clive Hurford reported 30 Common Dolphins off St Govan's Head just 10 days ago. As the crow flies (or the Dolphin swims) St Govan's is just 5.5 miles from Old Castle Head.

There was also at least one Porpoise off Priests Nose - no doubt trying to keep a low profile with Dolphins about.

Photo from Tuesday' Wildcat trip - see report below.