Yesterday morning at around 10am Sea Watch Research Assistant Emilia Benavente spotted one of New Quay’s most frequently visiting female dolphins swimming about 10m from the pier. At first it just appeared as though this dolphin, known by locals and Sea Watch staff as “Smoothy” was just milling around like any other dolphin would be early in the morning and it seemed like there was nothing out of the ordinary about this encounter.
The surfacing dorsal fin of one of Sea Watch’s most beloved dolphins known as “Smoothy”
However, closer inspection revealed that Smoothy was not alone and in fact she had a companion with her. The companion turned out to be a calf, indicating that Smoothy’s calf from last year is still with us!
A sneak peek at our young calf in Cardigan Bay.
Notice the light colouration of this young bottlenose dolphin compared to it’s mother.
Calf mortality is high in the first three years of life, but this is the third time that Smoothy has had a calf so we’re hoping she knows the drill by now. We’re thrilled that Smoothy’s calf is going from strength to strength and that Smoothy is happy to bring her youngster right up to the pier.
Smoothy is one of the dolphins in our Adopt A Dolphinn scheme and we can’t wait to share the good news of this sighting with our adoptees!
Onlookers were certainly excited to see Smoothy and her new arrival close to the shore and Smoothy didn’t seem to be too fazed by all the attention as the pair stayed around the pier for a good 17 minutes.
The excitement doesn’t end there! A mother and calf pair was also spotted during the 11am-1pm landwatch, frolicking and leaping out of the water and this time the youngster had very visible foetal folds indicating that it was a new born calf!
These pictures were taken using our Pier Watch equipment from the pier in New Quay.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the pair if you visit New Quay!
Sea Watch staff and interns will be trying to identify the mother of this new born calf and will let you know when we do! We also very much look forward to seeing more adorable dolphin calves as the season progresses and will share our stories with you.
To adopt a Cardigan Bay dolphin and support the work of Sea Watch please visit: Adopt A Dolphin.