National Whale and Dolphin Watch week is going strong, with interesting sightings on our 5th day. In spite of the weather stopping some of our planned watches, 22 sightings were entered from around the UK, with Point Lynas in Anglesey being the main point of interest of the day with over 6 different accounts. Six grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) were spotted in Point Lyas, from just before 10:00 to just before 11:30, all exhibiting normal surfacing and swimming behaviour. Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were also seen around the same area, feeding and swimming in the late morning.
Dunwich, Suffolk also attracted some marine visitors yesterday, as well as some of our observers! Two grey seals were spotted in the morning. Around 12:00, two minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) surfarced in Flamborough in Yorkshire, providing the most interesting entry of the day- sorry dolphins! The animals were feeding and surfacing casually with no particular direction. Down at Babbacombe Bay in Devon, an observer entered a grey seal sighting just after 13:30, making seals one of the most popular animals of NWDW 2023. Only 10 minutes after that, a pod of 10 common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) appeared in the same zone, feeding and roaming around.
At Menai Strait in Anglesey they had their first sighting of the week, with a pod of 15 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) appearing feeding and porpoising, swimming fast and splashing around; definitely a spectacle for our observers! In Ireland a small pod of bottlenose dolphins were spotted off the coast of Ballydavid, Kerry, in the evening. The watches of the day concluded with the sighting of 5 common dolphins bow riding in the waters around Isle of Gigha in Scotland.
Here in New Quay we also were lucky to have some sightings. Two bottlenose dolphins (including a calf!) made their appearance around lunchtime, feeding and surfacing with no particular direction. Some of our rather exuberant interns hosted an aqua aerobics workshop and one of our wonderful participants shared that she is 71! After the watches our day ended with a pub quiz at the Sports and Social Bar, to make sure our marine life knowledge is up to date and that everyone is having fun!
Day by day with every new entry and new sighting location, our team is able to map and estimate the numbers and behaviours of our marine neighbours around the country- just a reminder that every sighting of every animal matters.