The windy November weather finally gave Sea Watch volunteers a break earlier this month, just in time for a Welsh Sea Watchers project induction session in Swansea! On the 9th November, Wales Development Officer, Katrin Lohrengel headed to Swansea to give talks and practical advice on spotting and reporting cetaceans.
In the beautiful setting of the Towers Hotel Swansea, room and refreshments kindly provided by the owner and keen Sea Watch supporter Mick Parker, 30 volunteers learned all about spotting Welsh cetaceans.
Did you know at least 8 species of different whales and dolphins are spotted around Wales throughout the year?
The most commonly sighted species are harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphins; however, other species that have been sighted in the past include common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and even the odd killer whale!
But where would you start looking?
Around Swansea there are numerous land based watch sites that offer a good chance of spotting cetaceans. The Gower Peninsula offers an excellent vantage point with views over Swansea Bay and spots such as Bracelet Bay, Oxwich Bay and Burry Holms report cetacean sightings all year around, which made the Mumbles a natural choice for a landwatch!
After the talks and a quick lunch, the session moved to Bracelet Bay for a practice landwatch. Conditions were excellent, calms seas and good visibility, although a little bit chillier than would have been comfortable! With lots of eyes on the sea, hopes were high for a cetacean sighting. Unfortunately, despite several false alarms (birds, logs and unidentified bobbing blobs), cetaceans proved illusive on this occasion, however, volunteers were treated to a prolonged view of a grey seal!
Does this sound like something you would be interested in? The next training courses for potential ‘Sea Watchers’ will be held on the following dates:
29th November 2013, Haverfordwest at the Dale Fort Field Centre from 11 AM
If you would like to learn more about the Welsh Sea Watchers project or would like to get involved get in touch with Katrin Lohrengel on firstname.lastname@example.org