Friday, 19 September 2014

Whoops! another Leatherback and Dolphins off Ramsey

  Hi All

 After  a morning recording two hours of Common Dolphin (50+) activity  as close as 400m  from St David's Head passing by towards Ramsey island and then turned back  North again ,myself and Malcolm by chance met up again later to see out the end of the day at Newport beach to sight a Leatherback Turtle basking 25m from the shore in our warm shallow sea at 18.00.The head and carapace showed clearly above the water for 5 mins and then it was just the head high out of the water for another 15mins.It remained close to shore for a total of 20 mins before being disturbed by a curious boat owner at which point it flipped smartly sideways with a flash and splash from it's flipper and then  retreated to a  800m distance and remained there for another 45 mins looking for all the world like a bottling Seal.Lovely day .Good memory .No photo !

  Keep looking

 Nick Mc

Oh you lucky boyos! my only Leatherbacks have been distant or dead! cliff

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Leatherback sighting from Graham Turner

Convinced we saw a leatherback from  Pwll Deri too, about 2 weeks ago, as evening fell. No pics sadly, but three witnesses.


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Monday, 15 September 2014

Basker from Mike Russell'''.

Mike Russell 

Attachments18:50 (18 hours ago)
to me
Basking Shark spotted on 13/9/14 at 16.30 on the headland at Abermawr .


Thanks for this Mike, for some reason Basker's appear to be relatively uncommon here in Pembrokeshire so this confirmed sighting is most welcome! cliff

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Marion at Gwbert

Just had a call from Sea Trust supporter, Marion who tells me she is currently sat watching at least four Bottles at Gwbert on the Teifi Estuary! Apparently four of them including a mum and calf as well as two other adults!

Bottles with Steve Hartley

Steve Hartley doing what he does best!

As the weather looked favourable we decided to give the bottles at Newquay a try with Steve Hartley on his lovely new boat "Anna Lloyd". As such we were helping to sponsor a research trip for our colleagues Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Group.  With volunteer Cheryl and Steve taking data and Photo ID it also allowed us to get some photo's and film.

we got lucky off shore as no Bottles had been seen on the coast!
We set off on one of Steve's pre-set transect patterns into a slight chop from the Easterly breeze. It was not easy to spot animals in a sea state 3 with several white caps but a single circling Gannet ahead of  showed us the way after about an hour. As we approached a dolphin surfaced on our bow, and then three more including a calf.

Sea Trust supporters having a great time out and CBMWG getting data!
 Everybody was excited by the arrival of our new companions and Steve started getting some photographs to contribute to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre archive.
Dolphins bow riding as a yacht approaches.
The Dolphins chose to swim along with us until a yacht appeared to be on a collision course showing no signs of anyone in control. We dodged and hailed it and a bleary eyed chap appeared and waved!
Soon after, another small group arrived making a total of about eight! they stayed with us for at least half an hour and showed the worth of Steve's gentle approach!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Malcolm (Barradell) has been having a great time too...

Watched Porpoise at Penllechwen NE of St Davids Head for four hours today Fantastic…
And Risso’s too!
cost nothing to us or to them! priceless.
You have to love the Pembrokeshire coast path!
Also from Penllechwen today Thursday September 11th
5 possibly 7 heading West around 1300.
Also seen from the Head

Like Malcolm says; if you put in the time and effort watching from the shore here in  Pembrokeshire can be incredibly rewarding!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Latest Stena Europe Survey...

One of four Risso;s seen about twenty miles off Strumble.

Mother and calf  porpoises seen soon after 

Second group of Risso's encountered off Strumble... 

A pod of three..

including mother and calf.
Pic's :Dai Powell
The conditions for our Stena Europe trip were not so bad as we got out of the tide and sea breeze off Fishguard Bay and Strumble Head. None the less the outward trip was a dead loss with only a couple of Porpoise sightings off Strumble and surprisingly nothing in the Risso's Triangle. There were however, thousands of terns, auks and manxies .mainly inshore of the Tusker.

The return leg was calmer still but with a lot of glare making the forwards viewing difficult. The big tides caused a long tidal front just off the Tusker with lots of gannets spread out and odd porpoises hardly visible in the chop and glare. It seems likely that there were quite a few but I only managed to spot a couple. Soon after Dave spotted a very distant unidentified cetacean breach, again not very satisfactory As we progressed it began to get a bit hazy and the breeze dropped to almost nothing. The glare reduced but so did the visibility, down to a couple of miles at one point We stared long and hard but it was not until we were well into Welsh waters.that we picked up another Porpoise and then a group of at least four Risso's. soon after a couple of Common Dolphins were spotted by the crew on our bows!

At last things were beginning to look up and from then on we started getting more sightings, highlights being a distant pod of at least twenty Common dolphins with at least one calf feeding under 30+ gannets out towards Pen Brush. Captain Colm Clare came out to point out a group of three Risso's we had also just spotted, two adults and a calf as we passed by the Strumble Lookout. Several more Porpoise sightings swelled the total to 22 with seven Risso's and twenty odd Common dolphins (+1 unidentified) a vast improvement on yesterday’s measly total of two Porpoises! The odd thing is that although the Irish side has usually turned up the goods in recent months its underperforming. It’s probably just a blip but it will be interesting to see if it continues...

Monday, 8 September 2014


Single porpoise in Newport Bay near Aberfforest on Friday evening, as well as a large bull grey seal and couple of big Lion's mane jellyfish!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Towards Skokholm

A quick trip out to Skokholm from Dale today gave us a large, pretty pale, Porpoise on the way out, about a third of the way from St Anne's Head. It surfaced several times very close to the boat, each time facing in a different direction, as if following food. On the way back we had a small family of Common Dolphins a bit closer to Skokholm, perhaps 2-3 adults and a calf. They showed no signs of wanting to take a look at us, so we went in different directions.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

From Andrew Crowder

Friday 5 Sept. Strumble Head.
Between 5 & 8 porpoise feeding in a glassy sea early afternoon. 3 continually surfaced together with a slightly smaller animal positioned in the middle and they were always followed a few seconds later by an adult pair.  Another very enthusiastic individual was kept surging clear of the water when they surfaced in marked contrast to the others.