Thursday, 24 July 2014

Dolphins in Fishguard Harbour

20-30 dolphins seen in the harbour mouth here in Fishguard the other morning at around 8am - we haven't got much more info than that (commons or bottles?), but if anyone else saw them please get in touch!

Porpoise

1 porpoise in Newport Bay Tuesday evening off Cat Rock (just about in the fog!)

Several (around 5) porpoises from Pebbley Beach yesterday at about 12pm while on our watch

2, possibly 3, porpoise sighted about half way between Dinas Head and the Breakwater at about 1530 yesterday afternoon (from Ian Hotchin)

Josh and the Walrus had at least twenty porpoises off Strumble Head yesterday evening! Link to film - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CaLl1Ym0jc&list=UU9WgsTMCKUMJ7PDPcHDCABQ

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Holyhead-Dublin 9th July survey

Survey Report
9th July 2014.
Vessel: Stena Nordica
Time of departure from Holyhead: O855
Time of arrival in Holyhead: 1850
Present:                  Katy Hobson
                              David Williams
                              Richard Barlow.

Overview:
Upon arrival at Holyhead at 0730hrs, I was shortly afterwards joined by David and then Richard in the ferry terminal. Check in time was around 0805, after which we boarded the vessel without incident.  We were seated in the cafĂ© area and then taken up to the bridge by around 0915.
Weather conditions were initially turbulent, Force 6 and northwesterly with bright, sunny conditions and scattered clouds. Sightings of rafts of seabirds, notably manx shearwater, guillemot and the occasional gannet or fulmar presided for the first half of the outbound leg. First porpoises were sighted around halfway across, small group of adults and a calf. One individual sighting was noted as a result of Mr. Williams experimenting with his camera and capturing a clear porpoise fin. Time was correlated with the ship’s log along with the bearing and range of the shot to give an accurate sighting and positive ID.
Closer to Dublin, the weather improved, decreasing to a force 3-4 Northwesterly. Cloud cover reduced and conditions became much more suitable.  Seabird sightings, Particularly guillemot and shearwater were sighted along with the known Tern colony on the inbound leg into Dublin harbour. Large numbers of Black Guillemot were also present within the Harbour limits and there seems to be a resident population, given the high numbers noted on previous surveys.
Arrival time in Dublin was around 1230, at which time the team went on break for lunch, having been invited down to the crew mess.  Weather conditions in port remained stable, where Mr. Williams recorded large numbers of Black Guillemot in the harbour.
Departure back towards Holyhead was at around 1530.  Similar numbers and species of seabirds were observed on the outbound passage. Approximately three miles offshore, a large sighting of approximately ten Harbour Porpoise in a group was observed to starboard, containing adults and juveniles.  Mr. Barlow then reported a smaller group following the larger group a few hundred yards behind.  We believe this may have been a movement between food sources.
Sightings of harbour porpoise were seen in small numbers along the return passage, possibly becoming more apparent due to calming weather conditions.  Wind force decreased as low as Force 2 after around 1700, with many birds settling out onto the water into rafts as opposed to their foraging behaviour seen in stronger wind conditions.
Arrival into Holyhead was around 1850.  The trip proceeded smoothly without incident from either the team or the crew. Everyone seemed happy with the results and the crew expressed their thanks and that they would see us again shortly.


K. Hobson

Friday, 18 July 2014

Common Dolphin - Grassholm

While working on Grassholm this week we saw a pod of c 12-15 common dolphins (including a few calves) c 1-2km off the north end of the island at 14:00 on 16/7

Cartlett Lady trip 17th July 2014

We left Neyland at 12pm yesterday with promise of a good trip and we weren't disappointed...
A couple of hours out and we had a pod of around 20 common dolphins come in to play with the boat including several calves and juveniles. Another group of around 6 or 8 then came in and joined them although these were all a larger individuals. We headed further out West but weren't lucky enough to spot any more dolphins, so instead headed up to Grassholm which is always an experience, especially for those who hadn't seen it before! We then headed into St. Brides Bay and back around Skomer and Skokholm to see the puffins and other bird life. We managed to spot a single porp in the tide race on the North side of Skokholm, and as we headed around the West side of the island saw some some blows and splashes out further to our West which turned out to be a pod of around 10 Risso's dolphins. The Risso's hung around for a while slowly moving around us and there were at least a couple of juveniles visible. After the Risso's had left us we headed South and had a couple more porpoise - mother and calf pair, before heading back into the Haven. 

Some film and pictures to follow...

Happy passengers and common dolphins - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-dNHBFJQCg&feature=youtu.be

Short clip of Risso's - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w3s14qcZr4&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Porpoise

Single porpoise in Fishguard Bay yesterday morning - between the breakwater and Pwllgwaelod

Single porpoise in Newport Bay yesterday afternoon near Dinas Head

Several porpoises reported by Wdigbirder from Strumble yesterday afternoon

Monday, 14 July 2014

Bottlenose dolphins - maybe not in Welsh waters, but probably Welsh dolphins!?

From Dave Williams...
Yesterday I was lucky to be on a photographic pelagic trip in to Liverpool Bay when we came across a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. They swam alongside us for at least 30 minutes. It was difficult to ascertain numbers but I guessed at least 30, maybe as many as 50


Accurately counting dolphins in the field is really difficult if not impossible especially when you get into double figures!We have asked Dave to send fin shots to Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre as they have been doing Photo ID longer than anybody and their cataloger is available on their website www.cbmwg.org

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bottlenose in the bay

Film of one of the bottlenose dolphins in the bay last week, taken by Ian Hotchin from his boat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OccyF_YHQm8&feature=youtu.be

Irish Sea row sightings

On Monday we completed our row across the Irish Sea from Rosslare Harbour to Newport Boat Club in a time of 13 hours 53 minutes and 48 seconds!
We had 3 individual Risso's not too far from Tusker Rock, a very distant pod of common dolphins that looked to be busy feeding, a couple of porpoises and then a welcome committee of a pod of around a dozen common dolphins when coming in past Strumble...


We were rowing to raise money for Sea Trust, so if haven't already and would like to sponsor us, you can donate by just following the link - http://www.giving-back.co.uk/sea-trust-c.i.c./personal-challenge/fundraiser_4826.asp

Monday, 7 July 2014

Dawn got them in the end!

After we left the breakwater Dawn returned. The mother and calf and single adult had been joined by two more adults which put on a great show for her!