Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Photographic Genius that is Ken Barnett..

Ten or more years ago I was told by an "Expert" that Porpoises bred in the summer months when the males "came into condition". There used to be a forum called UK Cetnet which I used to put postings in and occasionally (Very occasionally) so would others. Almost the only other regular contributor was a chap called Elfyn Pugh who like me was taking some early steps into seriously looking at cetaceans. On several occasions I noted that among the large numbers of Porpoises present at Strumble Head even in the winter were often mothers with small calves. I had a little correspondence with another expert and she said that in any population there would be exceptions to the rule and so I bowed to this wisdom. At a conference of the great and good in York I met up with several people who recognised my name from those Cetnet posts and a couple of them expressed a little skepticism as to the numbers of porpoises I was recording at Strumble. Maybe i was getting it wrong, it made me question my observations? I asked one or two of them why they did not make posts but it seemed that they were too busy in their offices to get out and watch cetaceans very often, indeed not many of them lived anywhere that would offer that opportunity.
I am a self educated man with no degree or PhD to my name just thousands of hours spent on land and sea observing cetaceans, mainly porpoises over more than a decade and quite a lot before that.
I started Sea Trust in the simple belief that cetaceans in UK waters were under recorded and poorly understood. Strumble Head had been overlooked when both the Cardigan Bay and Pembrokeshire Marine European Designated Marine Special Areas of Interest were designated and I could not understand why.
Anyhow we have been monitoring Porpoises regularly often on a daily basis for over a decade both from sea and shore. We have compiled a mass of data and No I was not wrong, the experts were! Of course being experts they still think the world is square or at least ignore evidence to the contrary. So we still have no protection for Harbour Porpoises at Strumble (or anywhere else in Wales or England)
This week I did a slow scan count and recorded 50 + Porpoises surfacing which means that there were a minimum of fifty animals there and as they do not all surface at the same time possibly twice that amount, which is similar to the numbers that I was posting on Cetnet all those years ago.
But better than that today Ken actually photographed a male and female Porpoise in the act of procreation IN DECEMBER! Look closely and you will see the undeniable evidence! Hell what do we know! 

P.S. Don't tell JNCC they will never believe it!