In January, we were joined by Jen and Megan on their work experience placement from Sparsholt College. Here is the second part of their blog about their time spent at Sea Watch’s office in New Quay, Wales and the unusual dolphin visitor to the bay. To read the first part of their adventure, please click here.
It was the beginning of our second week, Monday morning, and we set off to carry out the land-based survey from the pier. The seas were very rough today, with a two metre swell so we weren’t even expecting to be able to see our favourite dorsal fin this time! Much to our surprise as soon as we had set up we spotted the dolphin once again by the white buoy, where else would it be!
After 20 minutes of watching the little dorsal fin pop up in the waves we were at last treated with the first breach! We were a little excited to say the least, finally having the chance to confirm this little mystery. Waiting for the dolphin to show itself again seemed like the longest wait, thinking that’s all we were going to get – just a little tease. Fortunately this was not the case and as the waves came in the dolphin came out, breach after breach giving us a good look and a chance to photograph it. A confirmed identification from Sea Watch’s Sightings Officer and Monitoring Officer and we could finally say it was a common dolphin!
Happy to finally have achieved this positive ID, we stood back and watched the dolphin bursting out of the waves looking like it was enjoying the rough sea. We’d heard about the dolphin leaping about just before our arrival and throughout the calm weather of our stay we’d seen such little movement. The bad weather was back and the dolphin was performing again, from this a nickname was conjured up; we had ‘Stormy’ the common dolphin!
This was the only show Stormy gave us as for the rest of the week it was back to watching the dorsal fin. However we did get one more treat on our last day at Sea Watch. By pure chance, Megan spotted a dorsal fin popping up from the waves near the shore just outside the office window, the first time we had seen it anywhere else apart from its favourite spot at the white buoy. A last goodbye?
Thank you Sea Watch!
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Jen and Megan who worked diligently for us during their work experience. We’re hoping that this won’t be the last we hear from them as they can landwatch from shores closer to their home. If you would like to find out more about watching for cetaceans near you please email our Sightings Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org.