Thursday, 24 May 2018

Sea Trust vol's spread their wings!

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, water and natureHolly and her Sea Trust Porpoise Photo ID Volunteer Group had a cracking time with the Porp's in Ramsey Sound  yesterday!

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Country File and Porp's from Phil Lees...

Hi Cliff

Apparently Country File programme  re-scheduled for 15th July I'm told.

Friday 18th Ramsey Sound - 7 porps feeding at low tide (circa 4pm) in the tide race between Shoe Rock and Ynys Eilun. They were showing really well in the glassy, calm water.

All the best.


Peoples porpoise project

Holly and her volunteers completed their 20th survey of this season yesterday and the project goes from strength to strength! well done to all our vols, old and new!

Image may contain: ocean, swimming, outdoor, water and nature

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Porp's from Phil!

Hi Folks

Apologies for not passing on these sightings earlier -

Monday 14th May -  whilst keeping watch on the Porthgain Chough nest site I watched a single porp feeding about 500m to 1000m out immediately north of Pen Clegyr, approx.  grid ref SM 332805 to 337805. It/they were seen regularly for nearly an hour between 6pm  and 7. It was doing forward rolls (or tumbling) but popping up in different places, so difficult to say whether it was just one or more. I didn't see more than one at any one time.

Sunday 14th April, circa 1.30 pm - around 6 porps were seen feeding in the tide race to the north of Cerrig Gwylan, aprrox grid ref SM325797.

Sunday 11th March circa 1.30pm - a Sunday afternoon stroll between Abereiddi and Porthgain, and we had wandered out to the end of the headland to the north of Traeth Llfyn to watch the gulls on the aptly named Cerrig Gwylan. On scanning the sea to the north to watch a Gannet I immediately saw a porp almost breaching. For a moment I thought it was a Common Dolphin but on scanning around there was an amazing sight for the Porthgain coast  of between 20 to 30 porps in a bit of a feeding frenzy. They were joined by around 10 - 15 Gannets, feeding in the tide race to the north of Cerrig Gwylan, approx. grid ref SM325797. The sea was quite choppy but they were showing well surfing down breakers, a few seemed to be in pairs as well. They were busy for 15 mins or so before things quietened down and they seemed to disappear northwards.

Hope these are of interest.

All the best.

Phil Lees

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Foggy Ferry

On Monday the Sea Trust team of Stevo Lucas, Steve Rosser and the Walrus embarked on a survey on Stenna Europe. The weather forecast was excellent and at this time of year the Irish sea should have been full of whales and dolphins. While it was a bit rougher than forecast for the first few miles it never went above sea state 3 which is quite acceptable for a survey. We had a single porpoise off Strumble and an unidentified fin a few miles further out (probably a porpoise). A seal bottling above a wreck about half way over broke the monotony and this was followed by four porpoise together crossing the bows of Stenna Europe. We had some mist near Tuskar Rock and were welcomed to Ireland by common and sandwich terns. With the new timetable we no longer have time to go ashore for a meal but after and excellent supper on board in the Metropolitan Bar and Grill we returned to the Bridge full of hope for the return voyage. As we left the quay we could see the mist offshore although we were in glorious warm sunshine. We then noticed something poking out above the fog. It was the bridge of the Irish Ferry the Isle of Innishmore. As she broke out of the fog we entered it and visibility was down to 50 metres for the whole crossing. A disappointing end to our survey. A big thank you to all the Stenna staff both on board and shoreside. We had a really good welcome by all concerned.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Strumble Diary 12/05/2018

There was a good ebb flow this morning so in bright sunlight I was hoping for good things. The porps were there right from the off but more distant than I'd have hoped for. As the session went on they did start moving closer in but then a yacht under motor steamed right through them which sent them scattering about. It took about seven minutes for them to re-group but alas they were again further out. Cliff arrived and we had an hour watching a large number of porps out beyond the tide race. I finished the session just before midday at which time most of the action had washed through to the west.

Team Sea Trust North

For the past few years we have had a team working on the Stena  Holyhead to Dublin route.  On the 16th of April they completed their second survey of the year  The team was; Dr Tony Gallon, Dave Williams and Kathy Brimage. The sea was rough, but they still managed to record five porpoises and a mystery animal.
Their reports are as exhaustive and rigorous as one would expect from our team leader,  Dr Tony Gallon,who described it as a "Large mammal" of which they had some brief glimpses and managed a few shots (see below) any ideas?

Friday, 11 May 2018

Strumble Diary 11/05/2018

A late session today as the skies cleared and the sun cast it's rays for the final few hours of the evening. Right at the top of the tide I had expected to only see a few porps if any. That was not the case as there were still a good few around although quite far out in what was left of the tide race. I'd estimate some twenty or so animals passed through against the flow. I spotted at least two mother and calf pairs but only managed to capture one in the lens. Tomorrow promises a good day so I'm hopeful of a repeat of yesterday morning but only time will tell. Let's hope the cetacean gods smile on us again.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Strumble Diary 10/05/2018 (And Some)

I know sometimes I moan about the weather, the light, the sea state, and many other things over the year but I can honestly say I'd take a hundred such days for one like today. It can only be described as a porpendously awesome day. You may have heard us describe some sessions as porp soup they were so numerous, well if that's the case today was the thickest soup I've had in all the time I've been watching at Strumble. I arrived there at just before 7.30am roughly 3 1/2 hrs before low water and already there were porpoise showing in the fast developing tide race. As the hour went by and Holly arrived we were seeing more and more. Then Phil Lees from PCNP arrived and we all enjoyed the spectacle. I honestly thought it would all be over by the time the team from Countryfile arrived as it would be normal for the action to wash west with the tide. But no. They just kept coming, wave after wave all through the morning and as I prepared to leave four hours in they were still creating a stir under the gulls and gannets. At one stage I think every porpoise in Pembrokeshire had passed through to entertain us. I was on a porpoise high for sure with a flat camera battery and over four hundred images in the bag the hardest choice was going to be which ones to put up on the blog.

Now I do have a soft spot for surfing porps so forgive me if it seems a bit top heavy with these but I do think this is when they look their dynamic best. As the water was so clear with excellent light I did something I've wanted to do for a while, so I've been a bit creative and given you a second out of a porpoise's life in one image, well in fact just under a second as there's nine images and the camera shoots ten frames a second These images were then montaged to show the sequence of surfacing from breakthrough to submersion. ENJOY!!!

Wow... porpoise soup and Countryfile...

Someone up there must love the BBC Countryfile programme, as not only did the sun shine brightly at Strumble today, but the Porpoises turned up in force as well! This, with the low tide which is usually the kiss of death for our porpoise action at Strumble! And yet there were Gannets,gulls and porpoises spread out in  frenzied feeding groups over at least a couple of miles of sea.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks, Phil Lees (above left) had asked us to come along for the filming, but not sure what he did to get the porpoises there in record numbers!  Holly and Ken were clicking away like crazy as porpoises showed all over the place.

It seemed Holly clicked with presenter Sean Fletcher as well!

No Brad, snap the porps not the peeps!

TV star Phil!

Team Sea Trust:Ken Holly Brad and Gita!

So Ken over to you for the porp's...It might take some time with probably more than four hundred images to sort through!