The third day of NWDW Week was filled with fun watches and interesting observations! The day began before 6 in the morning, at Berry Head, Devon where the first pod of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) (including two juveniles!) was spotted feeding. At the same spot, three harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) made their appearance just a few minutes later. Still before 6 am another pod of twenty common dolphins appeared in the same area. Berry Head was apparently a popular meeting spot for our marine neighbours that day; just before 7:00, sixteen common dolphins, possibly with two juveniles, were swimming around the same area, and only 10 minutes later, fifteen more appeared in the distance heading South.
At the Isle of Portland, a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) made her debut appearance at around 08:00, swimming very close to our observers. Less than 30 minutes later, yet another two harbour porpoises were spotted back at Berry Head Devon, and another seal was seen at 08:30 close to Dunwich. Around 09:20 at Strumble Head, in the Pembrokeshire area one bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was seen swimming and surfacing in the area, and in the same area one harbour porpoise was noticed around 09:40. Five minutes later observers from the Babbacombe area reported another solitary harbour porpoise. At the same time at Kirkton of Slains, Aberdeenshire, two porpoises were seen at surfacing not too far from the observers, as they headed North. Again at the same time back in Berry Head, a large pod of forty common dolphins with three juveniles amongst them were seen at 09:45 by our very excited observers! At 09:50 am thirty more adult common dolphins were reported in Berry Head, and then twenty five more very active individuals 10 minutes later. The meeting spot of the day didn’t stop welcoming more visitors! Within the next 30 minutes one grey seal was spotted in the area and seven more common dolphins made their appearance.
Back at Kirktown, a harbour seal appeared around 10.30 and 10 minutes later two adult common dolphins were seen at Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire swimming quickly. In Dunwich an observer seemed to have a very sealy day with 11 total grey seals spotted. Between 11 and 12, one harbour porpoise was seen at Strumble Head, five were seen in Anglesey, two were spotted in Dunwich and two more made their appearance near Kirkton of Slains.
Midday in Melby came with yesterday’s first minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)! After lunch, a harbour porpoise was also seen at Kirkton. Around 12:30, twenty five common dolphins were seen at none other than Berry Head, and another twenty more with four juveniles appeared around the same spot a few hours later. During a short lull in Berry Head, one common dolphin was seen around 14:00 in Worthing. But before 14:45 four harbour porpoises were accounted for at Berry Head and not long after eight more (including one juvenile!) were seen being very active. A few minutes later, two more harbour porpoises were seen at Dunwich, and at 15:15 five unidentified dolphins were spotted along with one juvenile in Scarbrough.
Back in Berry Head one of our observers counted a total of forty three common dolphins between 14:00 and 15:00. Still in Devon, at Hope Cove thirty common dolphins were spotted around 14:45. The last sighting of the day was just before 18:30 at St. Govan’s Head where three bottlenose dolphins were observed forming a “V” shape and jumping out of the water, perhaps in a foraging attempt.
Here in New Quay, Ceredigion the day started off with a bottle dolphin swimming and leaping only 10 metres away from our observer. After lunch another eight bottlenose dolphins were seen throughout the afternoon. Our interns also hosted a very successful (and yummy!) bakesale on the pier, but don’t worry it wasn’t so successful that they didn’t get to try their own treats!
The third day of the week was filled with fun encounters, proving for yet another year how much our community of citizen scientists and scientists has to offer, when we all work together and turn our eyes toward the sea. Thank you everyone for another day of fun and great data!