The Cardigan Bay Monitoring Project have been busy surveying this week carrying out line transect surveys in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The team recorded five different encounters with bottlenose dolphins, one of which happened to be Bond who is one of our adoptable dolphins. Other species seen by the team were harbour porpoises and grey seals. All of these sightings will help to determine the abundance and distribution of these marine mammals.
The first survey took place on Sunday where the first encounter occurred just within New Quay Harbour where bottlenose dolphins were seen to be leaping out of the water and feeding. On the Monday we were lucky enough to be joined by a BBC crew who were filming for a new wildlife show and on this day we had two separate sightings of dolphins, both of which were very active and gave a good show! The last two surveys of the week were not as fun packed as on both days the wind picked up and so did the sea state making it near on impossible to spot any marine mammals. However we did manage a sighting of a seal which was laid out on the rocks enjoying the Sun just by New Quay.
Three of the team were fortunate enough to join two surveys in Pwllheli where they completed outer line transects after long days on the boat. Nonetheless the long hours paid off as they were treated to sightings of 60-80 common dolphins which surrounded the boat as far as the eye can see. The recorded behaviour of the dolphins included bow riding and feeding. Bottlenose dolphins were also spotted on both transects in a group of 11 on the first day and 7 on the second, these were also recorded to be bowriding!
So all in all it has been a busy week so far with 6 surveys all together with a number of different species spotted and the week isn’t even over yet…
All surveys in Cardigan Bay SAC took place on Dunbar Castle II, New Quay Boat Trips. http://www.newquayboattrips.co.uk/