Friday, 30 September 2016

A Double First for Breakwater

A poor start to the day as the showers came over soon changed to broken cloud and sunshine as the time approached for the first coffee morning to be held at the end of the northern breakwater and a really worthy cause chosen by Cliff was the Macmillan Cancer foundation. It was lovely to see so many people show support to Cliff and of course Macmillan through this unique event. Thanks have to go to Tony, Stevo and Joel for helping set things up and to Delyth plus others for their lovely cakes and to those who attended and who made the event a success. At the end of the event a short time was spent watching a few porpoise to everyone's delight but sadly no bottles showed up.

A special thanks to Carl Miln (Stena Line) for supporting the event by providing a bus and driver to ferry people from the Ocean Lab and back afterwards.

 The other first was quite special too. If I'm correct, it is the first time we've recorded a porpoise at the breakwater that we know from our porpoise watches at Strumble Hd. The notches out of the fin are very familiar and I think this was one of the porpoises featured by Chantelle at the recent synposium. A female I think as it was in the company of a calf although the calf is well grown. I'll leave Cliff and the others to contemplate the importance of this sighting but it is a significant first I think.

The welcome

Off for coffee

The venue, the old gun emplacements

You can have your cake and eat it here.

All the goodies laid out.

My mum and wife enjoying coffee and a chat

Cliff with his cake face on.

Mother submerging with calf to the fore.

Double notched fin.

Calf on it's own.

Coffee morning gate crasher.

A remarkable day!

As usual, Ken played a great opening bat and there is so much to glean from his incredible pic's of our porpoises.
However what impressed me, was the really exceptional amount of mothers and calves.
I reckoned there were at least five mother and calf combinations, where there were in total about ten + adult Porpoises.
Ken highlighted it, but naturally  concentrated on the mutilated fins which is what we have been asking him to do so.
He started off with Bottles that seemed to move away as the small horde of porpoises moved in.

Ken had left around midday I finished my work and the breakwater seemed OK for a bite of lunch , Marged joined me andwithin a few minutes we saw some bottles moving in towards us from the North, soon after around half a dozen or more bottles came in ,only to move back out as the Ferry left the harbour. Not  the perfect ending but pretty memorable and hopefull either the porpoises or the Dolphins will show up tomorrowon our Macmllans Mystery Dolphin Watch/Giiven the pathetic state of our political system iyt has become pathetic1
allthingsgood cliff

Allthingsgood ,cliff


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Back to Front on the Breakwater

On my arrival today there were fifteen gannets wheeling over the sea at the harbour entrance. It wasn't long before I spotted at least two bottlenose beneath them just mooching around. As I took a few images while waiting for Cliff they started moving further away. I took my eye from the viewfinder and noticed several porpoise moving in from my left and it would seem possible that the number of porpoises had spooked the bottlenose rather than the other way around as may have happened the other day when three porps were caught in the bay as the bottlenose fed off the harbour mouth. The bottlenose quickly went out of sight as we were watching at least five pairs of mother and calf combinations. Cliff now with me suggested they may be creshing whereby several adult calf pairs move to quiet waters to rest their calves and feed quietly. As a bonus of seeing so many close in it became apparent while processing the images that there were a few with marked fins. That should please Anna/Chantelle and keep them busy for a while.

Porps pop up again!

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a miserable day with almost constant drizzle but around lunchtime Chantelle and I felt the need for some fresh air, so headed off to the breakwater! Overcast skies and mist gave a desolate feel to what seemed an empty if calm sea.
We were hoping for another sighting of the dolphins but it was pretty clear they were not there. after a few minutes a gannet approached did a jink and began circling to reveal a porpoise and calf about 50 metres away coming in our direction.

It seems recently that most of the porpoises we have encountered around the harbour mouth have been mothers with calves. This could be  because it offers good feeding opportunities in reasonably sheltered waters with less chance of the calf being swept away as she feeds.  Recently we have witnessed  both porpoises and dolphins feeding there but not together.There must be a danger for the porpoises of being caught by the dolphins with  potentially fatal results but they still keep coming!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Breakwater Bottles Ride Again

Yesterday early afternoon (Tuesday) the bottlenose were back on the breakwater point and further into the bay. I observed around twelve all together with a few juveniles and several adults. I was joined by Freddie and friend Rose just as the ferry approached and we were all treated to a great show as some of the dolphins rode the bow as it entered port making for some great image opportunities. Shortly after that the dolphins made their way out of the bay toward Dinas Hd and I lost sight of them about two miles out. With the dolphins safely away two adult and a calf Porpoise made their way out from the inner harbour and stayed around the end of the breakwater for several minutes.  It may be that they had sought the safety of the inner harbour to avoid conflict with the dolphins. The Seatrust team joined me for the last few minutes of the session as we watched the porpoises quietly make their way out of the bay. Enjoy the pics.