Thursday, 29 December 2016

So far so distant but so good!

I arrived at Strumble this morning with Zorro the Lab, to find Ken and his bro' Mike already ensconced at the lookout and onto some very distant Risso's. 
We spent a happy hour trying to track them. Were it not for the calm sea and good light it would have been impossible and even then the Risso's were playing hard to get with sporadic surfacings. Being well spaced out over a mile or so and probably two or three miles distant, we kept getting mixed up as to who was seeing what where!
This went on for some time until I spotted a relatively close animal (about a mile away heading west) I think Ken might have got some shots but none of them were particularly obliging and were soon lost. As I scanned near and  far trying to locate the Risso's I noticed some barely perceptible splashings that were accompanied by some Gannets.  After a few moments  the penny dropped , it was a largish pod of Common Dolphins. 
We had had a similar confusing situation the previous week with Risso's and Common Dolphins seen in a similar vicinity not quite so close as to be thought of as being associating but close enough for doubt to be entertained as to the veracity of my identifications as we steamed past Strumble in to Fishguard Bay on the Stena Europe.
Thankfully I had stuck to my first impression and recorded both species separately.  This very similar occurrence seen from the land a few days apart reinforced my confidence in the earlier decision.
Strangely we saw no porpoises during my hour there but Ken and Mike had seen some earlier so three species of cetacean recorded in one session . Pretty good eh! over to you Ken!