Friday, 23 March 2018

New Sea Trust Interns...

This week Alexandra from London joined Gita from the Czech Republic as our latest interns we had a pleasant morning in the Gwaun Valley just to show them what was on their doorstep . In some ways the culture shock was maybe more for city girl Alexandra than for country girl Gita. They both bring their own special gifts to the Sea Trust mix. Looks like they are both praying for good weather and a glorious spring, Amen to that!¬)

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Strumble Diary 22/03/2018

A little late getting to Strumble today and as I left the village I met Holly, Alexandra and Marion returning from a fin survey. They enjoyed a busy session with many porps within the tide race close in. Hopeful of getting some action then I made my way out. The tide race was just starting to ease as I arrived and the grey overcast conditions didn't raise my spirits either. Thankfully there were still a number of porps off the lookout and so I set too with the trusty old Canon capturing what I could before they moved off. The tide race and the action died away within the hour but by that time I had a good number of images on the card and so it was off home to process and post. With a bit of luck the weather will be better tomorrow and the porps will show in good numbers again.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Strumble Diary 21/03/2018

Things have been quiet of late what with the weather and work going on at the lookout. The porps have been quiet too on the occasions I have been out there with poor sightings and no images worth displaying. However they have been there and today was a little better with a couple coming closer in. Most though stayed further out to the west and seemed to be happy in the standing waves caused by the low water rushing over the shoals. Hopefully next week will bring better weather and larger numbers.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Dale Fort Field Study Centre Symposium 2018

Yesterday the 17th March the FSC at Dale Fort held it's 6th Marine Research Symposium. One of the speakers was our own Holly Dunn project co-ordinator for the Fin ID Project. Anna, myself and Gita one of our new interns went along for support and to take in the latest thoughts and concerns from the world of local marine research and conservation. Holly delivered a well crafted  and detailed presentation on the aims, method and findings of the Fin ID project to date and outlined the plans for future expansion. Although it was a long day the topics were varied and interesting and if one thing became clear it was the struggle everyone has in getting funding as most of the bodies that provide the funding seem to be looking for economic rather than enviromental outcomes. So cudos to Holly for a job well done in promoting Sea Trust and it's work in this field.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Porthcawl Porpoises in 2018

On Tuesday we at last had a weather window. After a wheatear in the morning at Southerndown I set out for Porthcawl. Sea state 2 good visibility and warm sunshine. I always start with a quick scan around with binoculars looking for anything obvious and then turn to the telescope and slowly scan. Well on Tuesday my quick scan produced a porpoise about 1/4 mile east of my position and only about 300metres out. Unfortunately it disappeared into the very strong glare. I continued my survey confident of lots of porps but saw nothing until the 58th minute of my hour survey. It was almost a repeat of the earlier sighting. Single porp and it too got lost in the glare. Never mind. Two porpoise sightings and a wheatear on the same day as early as 13th March was a result.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Strumble Diary 13/03/2018

A good start to the session today. Holly and two of our volunteers were already there and shortly after we arrived (brother Mike and myself)  a group of ten or more gannets were spotted circling and diving some two miles to the NW. Some excellent observation by Holly saw that they were flying over a small pod of Common Dolphin which was confirmed by subsequent images taken as they broke surface. In contrast to yesterday the tide race was slow to form and a lot weaker also. This translated into less porpoise also. An observation today was that the porps in attendance were a lot smaller than usual or so it seemed to us anyway. It's good to see the Gannets back in increasing numbers too as I love to watch them diving and swooping over the water.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Strumble Diary 12/03/2018

The sessions over the past few days have been very frustrating with small numbers of porps and them not showing well at all. Today however that all changed with upwards of fifty porpoise on view through the session and due to the swells they were showing well. As the tide race built up and moved closer it was evident that this was going to be a good session as wave after wave of porps in two's three's and even a group of five sped through against the flow of the flooding tide. Later in the session even as the tide race died away there were still a good number foraging in the calmer waters in front of the lookout. No starkely marked animals but al least one with identifyable marks on it's flanks. The gannets were doing their thing as well and were on target many times as the image below shows their catch was of a tidy size but too distant with this one to see what they were feeding on.