Almost 10 days has passed since we rounded up National Whale and Dolphin Watch for another year. Over in New Quay we are busy collating our sightings from National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2022. The event was a huge success with over 289 registered watches taking place all around the UK coastline and from the sea. Thank you so much for everyone who got involved this year! At the time of writing this post we have had 700 sightings and we are still counting.
Sightings in the Spotlight
During the week of National Whale and Dolphin Watch I posted “Sightings in the Spotlight” videos of our daily sightings on our Instagram and TikTok. It was a great way to help our viewers visualise where sightings were happening and show just how many different species we do see on a daily basis – when we are covering as much land as we do during NWDW! If you’d like to catch up with these videos you can do so by heading over to either our Instagram or TikTok profiles.
Currently our most sighted cetaceans were harbour porpoise, followed by common dolphin and then bottlenose dolphin. The most commonly seen whale was, as expected, the minke whale, sighted all around the country. Other noteworthy sightings include the two basking sharks, sunfish, leatherback turtle and white-beaked dolphin. The latter was seen of Roker Pier and can be pictured below in this epic photo entered into our Photography Competition by Helen Fernyhough.
Evening with Sea Watch Foundation
Our events throughout the week all went ahead with great success. In particular, our Research Assistant, Rebecca did an incredible job of hosting our Evening with Sea Watch Foundation. We had a great talk from Ceri Beynon-Davies from Natural Resources Wales about their work and the link between nature and mental health. Our own intern, Celia Eardley then delivered an engaging talk about the wildlife in Cardigan Bay, showcasing some of her photography and giving details of some of her favourite Cardigan Bay resident dolphins. Our Monitoring Officer, Katrin then finished the evening with a Q&A where she covered how and why she became a marine biologist, whether you can swim with dolphins in the UK and what her day-to-day looks like working at Sea Watch Foundation. Many thanks to Rebecca and all our speakers. If you missed the event you can catch up via the recording on our YouTube channel.
Our varied events across the week in New Quay raised a total of grand total of £320.38. Our new Fins of Cardigan Bay tote bags arrived too which were a huge success.
NWDW Competition winners
Thank you for all the entries to our Photography and Children’s competitions this year. We had great fun going through the submissions and having a glimpse into this year’s sightings and events. The winner of our adult photography competition was Robert Dodd (59) who took this photo off Barmouth of a dolphin breaching.
We also had some great entries for our Children’s Competition. This year’s winner was Nel Williams, aged 8, who took this amazing photo from Ermol 6 in New Quay with Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips.
Stay tuned for our NWDW 2022 Report
Our Sightings Officer, Claudia and her assistant, Katherine are working hard to collate and input all the sightings submitted via or Sea Watcher app and website. Over the next few weeks they’ll be putting together a report of all the results we have collected thanks to all those involved as our citizen scientists. Stay tuned to hear all about it! For now you can find our latest sightings from NWDW here.
Katie Baker Communication and Outreach Officer