The 21st National Whale and Dolphin Watch is fast approaching, taking place at the end of this month from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st July. Members of the public are invited to take part in this annual citizen science event by conducting and joining in with watches, surveys and events taking place across the country. With all the data collected over these nine days we hope to create a ‘snapshot’ view of the distribution and status of the whales, dolphins and porpoises found in our UK coastal waters.
This year we currently have over 214 watches scheduled to take place throughout the week in most of the regions within our Sightings Network. Some of these organised watches are open to the public and stretch along the coast from Caithness to Glamorgan to Jersey. Find your nearest watch here. Whether joining one of our watches or going solo, we welcome you to get out to your local coastline with a pair of binoculars and see what you can spot – submitting your sightings via our App (free on Android and iOS) or our website. By submitting data during National Whale and Dolphin Watch you will be automatically entered into our Observers Prize Draw with the chance to win some amazing prices kindly donated by our sponsors this year.
If you need a bit of help preparing for NWDW our Sightings Officer, Claudia is running an online training webinar on Wednesday 20th July at 7pm. She’ll be bringing you up to speed on species identification, how to record effort and all the tips and trick for conducting a successful landwatch. You can register for this free webinar here – hope to see you there!
In addition to our “Observers Prize Draw” we’ll also be running a Photography Competition, a Children’s NWDW Competition and a Raffle during the week. You can find all the details of the competitions and prizes here. Raffle tickets can be bought from our Dolphin Hub in New Quay and at our New Quay events throughout the week with the winner announced on Saturday 30th July during our Live Music Night.
Daily events will be taking place in New Quay throughout the week including a welcome BBQ, pub quiz, workshops, landwatches, a bake sale, live music night and new this year – our Sea Watch Sunset Cruise with Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips! Our volunteer, Alex will be running a macrame workshop from our Dolphin Hub where she’ll be talking about starfish and then helping participants to make their own macrame starfish keyring. Details of all the events and how you can get involved can be found here.
We are also delighted to be hosting online events this year to allow everyone to get involved, wherever you are. We’ll be partnering with Mapping Ocean Change through Art (MOCA) to bring you an online art workshop (sign up here). Our Research Assistant, Rebecca will also be hosting our online Evening with Sea Watch Foundation. Details of all our upcoming events can be found on our website.
We hope you’ll consider getting involved with National Whale and Dolphin Watch this year. To stay up to date with all our latest sightings you can head to this page where they will be split up by region. If you’ve got any questions about NWDW we hope you’ll find the answers on our Frequently Asked Questions page or else you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Baker Communication and Outreach Officer