National Whale and Dolphin Watch got off to a great start here in New Quay, with a weekend of cakes and dolphin acrobatics from the pier. The new team of Sea Watch Research Interns had some exciting Land Watches and explained to many passers-by about the science and conservation we do here in Cardigan Bay. Meanwhile, in the Dolphin Hub the education assistants had some lovely visits from families, adults and friendly dogs who joined us for cakes, hand-baked dog biscuits, arts and crafts and some great discussions about the dolphins, whales and porpoises of Wales and beyond.
This weekend, I was also busy visiting many of the local shops to set up our Scavenger Hunt! We have hidden the dorsal fins of some of the individual bottlenose dolphins we see most often around New Quay in the windows of those businesses not serving food or drink for consuming on their premises (we did not want to inconvenience any of the café’s, restaurants or pubs or those waiting to be seated or served). For anyone who wants to join in, your task is to follow the treasure map available here or from the Dolphin Hub and record the names of all the dolphins whose dorsal fins are on display in the shops. Once you are finished, come to the dolphin hub with your completed map and a small donation and contact details, so you can be entered into our raffle. On Sunday 1st August, 3 lucky winners will be able to choose from some fantastic prizes, and hopefully you and your families will have had the chance to explore New Quay and meet some of the lovely business men and women who call this little dolphin haven their home.
This fine Monday morning witnessed our first Online Event, live-streamed from the New Quay office. The audience joined me in exploring the marine inhabitants of Cardigan Bay, from jellyfish to sharks to cetaceans, we discussed some of the animals which live in the Bay, the protection they enjoy through the Special Areas of Conservation established in the early 2000s, and the reasons why this is such a popular location for Bottlenose Dolphin. We delved into the origins of dolphins, the differences between the toothed and baleen whales and the special 6th sense these toothed whales use to find their way in an often dark or murky underwater environment as the top of the Cardigan Bay food-chain. Finally, I shared some top tips on spotting dolphins and whales and introduced the audience to Berry and Tigger, two of our Adoptable Dolphins.
A video of this event will be available on the Sea Watch Foundation Youtube Channel later this week, while an at-home activity pack and certificate of completion have been sent to our attendees. Anyone wishing to access the activity pack and certification should please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
All in all, the week is off to a positive start with daily dolphin sightings and having raised over £130 in cake sales and generous donations which will be used to continue our work to conserve British cetaceans and educate people on how to responsibly co-exist with our neighbours under the waves.
Tomorrow is our first Rock Pool Safari, so please come along to Dolau Beach in New Quay, West Wales for some low tide exploration of the pools. We will be on the beach between 3 and 5 pm, so look out for Percy, our life-sized Harbour Porpoise model who is made of upcycled marine rubbish. He will mark the meeting point for our salty adventures…
See you tomorrow!
To see what other events we have on offer in New Quay and online, please visit https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2021-on-site-and-online-events/
Education & Outreach Assistant