Saturday, 27 May 2017

From Phil Lees!

Hi 2 Risso's feeding for over half an hour just off Pen Anglas Fishguard between 5pm and 5.30 this afternoon. They were only 50m to 100m from the cliff just to the west of Pen Anglas point.

Phil Lees 

From H!

3 bottles off Dinas head i big female and calf + one other sorry H, Freddie not well so not time to put on earlier!
Adrian just called, a friend of his who had seen 4 Risso Dolphins and 6 Common Dolphins from Strumble Head this morning.

Hopefully we can take a look at Strumble Head later, to see if they are still around!

Thanks for reporting Adrian.


Friday, 26 May 2017


Laura and I had the great idea to cycle to Strumble Head on wednesday, after 20 minutes we realized just how great that idea was. Luckily Cliff saved us and decided that we and especially Anna needed a well deserved break, so we headed for Strumble Head in the hope to see some porps. Although at first it seemed quiet, porpoises soon started to show. We estimated we saw 10 porpoises including a calf. During and after our clickcount we were able to get photographs of a nearby porpoise with a damaged fin.

PS cycling back was a lot easier 😉

Cheers, Laura & Rens

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Strumble Diary 23/05/2017

A very different day today than yesterday. The porp soup we had had thinned out with only a fraction of the numbers seen yesterday. Combine that with quite hazy conditions and it made photographing them quite difficult with patchy results. Today's images then are mostly for the record but out of the shots I did get there was one animal that stood out. It's one I've seen before but I'm not sure if we have recorded it for the fin ID project. Hopefully these images will be good enough to provide the detail needed.

Monday, 22 May 2017

More Bottles this morning... Strumble Diary ... Porpoise soup this afternoon

Had a smashing morning with Anna, Helena, Hanika and Gonzalo watching Bottlenose Dolphins up close and personal on the Outer Breakwater Fishguard Harbour. This afternoon we went to Strumble and met up with Powell Strong and a group from South Wales University who were there to do some porpoise watching They were in luck the porpoises were putting on a show,

Powell invited us to tell the students about our work and Ken explained about our photo ID work. They were a great bunch of young women and men who seemed interested in what we had to say even though it was warm  and sunny and they had got up at 5 am to travel here!

We also met their lecturer Tim who is running the course and we talked about ways we could work together which could be good fun and quite interesting!
Over to Ken for some very interesting pic's...

Bottle and Strumble Triple Bonus

Following on from this morning then and I did get to the breakwater after a call from Cliff to advise of five bottles moving around. By the time I got there though four had moved off and the last one also left shortly after I arrived. I managed enough shots to recognise it as Notchy of Notchy & Scratch fame a mother and calf we have seen before. Another visit to Strumble with Cliff and a couple of volunteers hoping to catch some action on the rising tide.
      As we arrived the tide race was forming and one or two porps were showing at a distance. A group of students from the University of South Wales gathered in front of the lookout and coincidentaly were there to study cetaceans also. They were joined by Cliffs old friend Powell from Pembs College and we all did click counts for an hour or so. Powell invited Cliff and myself to give an impromptu talk which we were pleased to do. The porp action was fast and furious with lots of animals out in the tide race feeding and showing well. I thought yesterday was good as it deliverd two previously seen animals but today was even better. Not two but three distinctive fins, two of which I've caught before and one new one as far as I can tell. As an extra bonus one of them had a young calf too. As you can imagine this entry is dedicated to them but many more were seen. The quality is not the best due to the poor light at times but it's the detail we're after and sometimes we have to sacrifice quality for the data these shots provide.

New Animal for the ID project.

Strumble Diary 22/05/2017

A short session this morning as the low tide moves toward late morning hopefully allowing another session this afternoon if the light is OK and if the bottlenose don't show on the breakwater. Just a few porps around mostly just beyond the tide race with some others showing poorly in the choppy water beyond the lighthouse.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Training Day with A Strumble Bonus

Today was a traing day for some new volunteers on the Porpoise fin ID project. We started at 11.15 with Anna opening the course followed by Chantelle and then myself doing the behaviour and photography side of things. After the talk was over we went to the breakwater to show them the layout and hopefully to see if there were any Bottlenose about. Sadly they were'nt so we headed off to Strumble for a snack lunch and further observation training. Everybody soon got into the swing and sighted a group of porps feeding off to the NW. We watched them moving with the tide flow feeding as they did so and as they came closer some of the volunteers had a chance to use the camera and practice tracking the fast moving porps. While this was going on I was perched behind my lens and was delighted to see an animal that we knew well and had seen before. A result I thought, and quite timely as this was the whole purpose of training up the volunteers to capture this sort of activity. In the group of five or so animals lay another surprise as I suddenly spotted split fin, another of our previously sighted porps. A bonus indeed to have five or six animals there of which two were distinctive returners. Job done and a great day all in all.