Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Wildcat Trip

Having cancelled yesterday's scheduled Wildcat Dolphin survey due to a poor weather forecast we were glad to get out today when the Celtic Wildcat became available at short notice.

Following a few days of pretty windy weather we were a little concerned about sea conditions. As we left the shelter of Milford Haven we found a swell running and the sea picked up now and again but we have certainly been out in worse.

First stop was Grassholm where the Gannets are still in the full swing of the breeding season and we were treated to the usual spectacle of getting on for 100,000 Gannets including many well grown chicks. A small pod of 7 or 8 Common Dolphins on the way out were intent on fishing and paid no attention to the Wildcat.

Out then to The Smalls lighthouse and beyond to the Celtic Deep. We had hopes of possible Fin Wales as skipper Nick O'Sullivan had seen one out there last week. No joy today but that's how it goes with Cetaceans! We did, however see plenty more Common Dolphins as we headed back in with a tally of over a hundred for the day. Most were in fairly small pods of a dozen or less and, perhaps due to the at times  choppy sea, most did not stay with the boat for long though one group did give good views close in riding the bow wave.

Some good birds seen on the trip with at least 3 Storm Petrels, plenty of Manx Shearwaters, 1 light phase Arctic Skua and 3 Great Skuas - one of latter harassing Gulls and Gannets which were following a fishing boat.

More photos from the trip here

Rich Crossen