We have just come to the end of National Whale & Dolphin Watch (NWDW) 2010 which took place between 7th and 15th August. The aim of this event is to raise awareness of the status of UK cetaceans and to collect a large volume of effort and sightings data that can produce a snapshot of the distribution of cetaceans in UK waters. Sightings reports and data sheets are continuing to come in. However, so far there have been 322 sightings of eight cetacean species reported. The most commonly reported species is the harbour porpoise with 144 reports. Bottlenose dolphins were the second-most regularly sighted species with 105 records. These two species made up the vast majority of sightings. There have also been 35 minke whale reports, 13 short-beaked common dolphin, seven Risso’s dolphin, five killer whale, four white-beaked dolphin, one northern bottlenose whale and eight counts of unidentified cetaceans.
Interesting sightings to note include:
- two northern bottlenose whales in the Wash, Norfolk
- four bottlenose dolphins in the Dee Estuary
- 20 white-beaked dolphins off the Farne Islands and Whitburn, Co. Durham
- 60 short-beaked common dolphins reported repeatedly in the Inner Hebrides & NW coast of Scotland
Sightings hotspots include:
- New Quay, Ceredigion
- Thurso Bay, Caithness
- Strathy Point, North Sutherland
- Swiney Hill, Lybster, Caithness
- Chanonry Point, Moray Firth
- Berryhead, South Devon
- Loch Gairloch, Ross-shire
If you spotted any cetaceans during NWDW, please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org -it is not too late! If you did a timed cetacean watch during the event but had no sightings, please let us know about it. This information is just as important as the sightings. You can post filled forms to Gemma Veneruso, Paragon House, New Quay, Ceredigion, SA45 9NR. The full NWDW 2010 report will be available shortly.
Many thanks to all that participated!