Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Pelagic yesterday

I joined the Pelagic trip run by the Mid Pembs and Birdwatching Group Sections of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales yesterday on the Celtic Wildcat.

We first headed out to Skomer and enjoyed the frantic acivity of the breeding seabirds in South Haven before going out to Grassholm which surely has to be one of the great wildlife spectacles in the UK. I snapped one Gannet coming into the island with nesting material which sadly turned out to be a plastic bag to be added to the numerous pieces of fishing net visible on the nests.

Out then to The Smalls which was eerily quiet with no feeding Gannets or Manx Shearwaters - in fact we didn't see any feeding Gannets all day though large parties were heading back to Grassholm  from the south, possibly having made an easy catch around a large group of fishing boats which could be seen on the radar some way off over the horizon.

In choppy conditions we went out 28 miles off St Anne's Head but saw few birds. Heading back at around 20 miles out we finally encountered a small pod of 5 or 6 Common Dolphins which joined the boat to ride the bow wave. These in turn were joined by quite a large group which stayed with the boat for 20 minutes or more bow riding or playing in the wake. In all we must have seen 50 or 60 Dolphins all, it appeared, females with quite young juveniles.

Many thanks to Lyndon Lomax for organising a great day out and to Skipper Nick O'Sullivan for a safe, comfortable trip. More photos from the trip here