It’s been an exciting start to summer for dolphin watchers in the South West of England with a large pod of Risso’s dolphins seen off the Cornish coast on three successive days.
Risso’s dolphins are occassional visitors to the Cornish coast, but rarely so early in the year, or in such large numbers.
Sea Watch Sightings Officer Gemma Veneruso explained: “ Around 15-25 Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) were seen off Penlee Point and around Low Lee Buoy in Mounts Bay, SW Cornwall at the same spot, between 3 pm and 6 pm, each day at high tide. There are about 6-10 reports of Risso’s in Cornwall each year and are not as common in this area as bottlenose dolphins or short beaked common dolphins. Risso’s are often seen at Pembrokeshire, Isle of Man and the western coast of Scotland.” The pod was spotted and reported to Sea Watch by Bradley Sharp, who saw at least four juveniles in the group and told us that their behaviour suggested that they were feeding.
Sea Watch Foundation organises the UK’s National Whale and Dolphin Watch which this year will take place from July 18-26. The watch helps build up a picture of the distribution of whales and dolphins off our coast. It’s free to take part. See www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk for more details.