Author: Laura Evans

A View of the Bay

Living Seas volunteer Andy usually spends his time conducting Dolphin Watch surveys for Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre however, due to COVID-19 all our research work from CBMWC has been put on hold. He is lucky enough to live in a flat overlooking New Quay Bay and has spent lockdown wildlife watching from his home.

Andy in action! (Taken Nov 2019)

Hello folks, hope this finds everyone well and in good spirits despite current circumstances. It occurred to me that some people might be getting withdrawal symptoms from the lack of dolphin activity you can view in your back garden and that, along with an obvious desire to get back into the pub, a bit of an update entitled, ‘a View of the Bay’ might slake the marine wildlife thirst, if nothing else.

Luckily, as I relax on my stool at the bar in my living room, I have a great view of New Quay bay so can I give you an update of what’s been ‘occurrin’ since the lockdown began.

Not surprisingly, bottlenose dolphin activity has accelerated since late March/early April. At about that time, just before the lockdown, I saw my last harbour porpoise, interestingly, at the same time there was a dolphin in the bay. Since then, dolphin numbers have increased…as has the frequency of sightings. I’m being contacted by several other local folks and know that the epicentre of activity is the Cardinal Buoy and reef, whereas the evening hang-out seems to be near the fish factory. On one day last week there were about 30 dolphins in the bay…a friend took a photo (whilst on their daily walk) and past ShoreFin volunteer, Gemma identified regular visitor Jacky. This just goes to show that once a Shorefin volunteer, always a Shorefin volunteer!

Cardigan Bay’s Bottlenose Dolphins

In birdy news….as the only vehicles I see in the village are the bin lorry and Postman Pat on his round (apparently, he’s struggling to get Jess’s fave cat food) the place is incredibly quiet and this has made birding a lot easier. Early April brought the first chiffchaff call, then blackcap to be followed a week or so later by willow warbler, swallow and house martin.

Gannet activity has sky-rocketed this week from only a few birds in early April to literally hundreds in the bay, great for me to watch but pretty tough on the fish. There were several days with good numbers of sandwich terns but they’ve now continued north to breed. I can’t get round to Bird Rock of course but it’s clear the auks are back with loads in the bay now. So far none of the Skomer manxies have wandered past but I expect that’s next.

Northern Gannet

As I have been sitting outside the flat gazing wistfully at my kayak, rapidly gaining cobwebs, I’ve also seen some pretty uncommon birds….a honey buzzard last week and a grasshopper warbler the week before. I say spotted but grasshopper warblers are the shyest of birds but give themselves away by their reeling, rising and falling call. Lovely.

For butterfly and moth fans the past month has been excellent. My first butterfly at the start of April was the small tortoiseshell followed closely by speckled wood. Since then, the pace has quickened with holly blue, lots of whites, orange-tip and peacock. ‘Lockdown learning’ has been required for me to ID the moths that appear in my hallway attracted by the overnight light. The amazingly named brindled beauty has been here lots of mornings, you should look it up to see why brown may not be a boring colour after all!

Peacock Butterfly

And lastly, land mammal news! I’m used to lots of rabbits outside the flat on our lawn but it’s been so quiet they’ve bred like, well, rabbits and there’s more than usual. So imagine how surprised, and delighted, I was last week when across the lawn trotted a sprightly fox! Perfect views 20m from my front window as it hunted and chased several frightened bunnies, once again, tough on them but made my day.

I wanted to end with this – there’s a spot where I sit outside my flat to wildlife spot and during lockdown I’ve followed the progress of a tree as it’s emerged from its winter, leafless form into full bloom. I know it may not sound like riveting spectator viewing but the chance to observe the opening of the leaves (and the community of birds and animals living on it) has been truly fascinating. I’ve found out as well that it’s a sessile oak and a friend tell me that ‘sessile’ means ‘fixed in one place, immobile’ so presumably it’s called that to distinguish it from all the other oaks that are constantly running about!

We look forward to more wildlife updates from Andy next week. 

Sessile Oak Wood at Penderi Cliffs Reserve L Maiden

Sessile Oak

 

Living Seas Seasonal Volunteer Positions 2020

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) is looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our Living Seas Volunteer Team for the 2020 field season (March-November). Volunteers will assist with our Living Seas research and community engagement work.

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation, meet new people who share your interests and experience Wales’ amazing marine life. You’ll learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain vital experience in field work, research methods, community engagement and much more!

The volunteer programme at CBMWC has received national recognition after achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award (IiV), the UK’s quality standard for volunteer management, in January 2017. We provide a fantastic volunteer experience!

Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

The seasonal volunteer positions available for 2020 include –

  • Living Seas Volunteers – tasks include land and boat based surveys, data entry, running our visitor centre, assisting with community engagement events and beach cleans.
  • ShoreFin Volunteers – tasks include photographing bottlenose dolphins from land, photo-ID, analysing data and writing the annual ShoreFin report.
  • SeaSeal Volunteers – tasks include land based seal surveys, photographing seals, photo-ID, analysing data and writing the annual SeaSeal report.

Visit the seasonal volunteer homepage to discover more about the roles and application process. Deadline for applications is 23:5pm on Sunday 5th January 2020.

Other volunteering opportunities – If you live locally to New Quay and are interested in volunteering at our centre please visit our local volunteer home page. For anyone living in the wider south and west Wales area, we’re looking for volunteers to become involved in the Living Seas Wales Project, please click here for further information.

If you have any questions please email volunteer@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224.

Laura Evans, Living Seas Wales Project Officer

Hiking for Our Seas

Two dedicated marine enthusiasts, Aline and Paul are taking on the epic challenge of hiking 24 miles along the coastal path (in one day) to raise money for our vital marine conservation work.

Aline, Project Officer at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) and Paul a Living Seas volunteer have already dedicated much of their time and efforts to saving our precious seas. But, they want to take their commitment to the next level hiking 24 miles from Aberystwyth to New Quay!

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre has been tirelessly working to protect the marine wildlife of Cardigan Bay for over 20 years. Based in the heart of New Quay, West Wales the centre has become the focus for marine research, education and awareness raising in the area. Using land and boat based surveys, photo-identification and acoustic studies we collect data on marine megafauna, focusing on bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the wider Irish Sea.

The CBMWC is home to a busy visitor centre and also provides marine educational activities for families, schools and groups. In 2015, the CBMWC became a part of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales Living Seas Wales project.

The project is dependant on the support and fundraising efforts of sea lovers like Aline and Paul. On Saturday 28th September the dedicated duo will set off from Aberystwyth seafront (where our Living Seas Volunteers conduct Dolphin Watch Surveys) and will tackle the various terrains the coastal path has to offer! The pair will finish the challenge in New Quay, home to our office, visitor centre and discovery room. Hopefully theyll spot some dolphins, seals or porpoise along with way!

We would really appreciate your support for this epic challenge and our Living Seas Wales project.

Help us protect our seas, visit our justgiving page and donate today.

Join our Living Seas Volunteer Team!

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) is looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our Living Seas Volunteer Team for the 2019 field season (25th March – 4th November 2019). Volunteers will assist with our Living Seas research and community engagement work.

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation, meet new people who share your interests and experience Wales’ amazing marine life. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain vital experience in field work, research methods, community engagement and much more.

The volunteer programme at CBMWC has received national recognition after achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award (IiV), the UK’s quality standard for volunteer management, in January 2017. We provide a fantastic volunteer experience!

Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

The positions available for 2019 include –

The closing date for applications is 23:59pm on Sunday 6th January 2019

Other volunteering opportunities – If you live locally to New Quay and are interested in volunteering at our centre please visit our local volunteer home page. For anyone living in the wider south and west Wales area, that we’re looking for volunteers to become involved in the Living Seas Wales Project, please click here for further information.

If you have any questions please email volunteer@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224.

Laura Evans, Living Seas Wales Project Officer

Calling All Marine Enthusiasts!

Do you live in the south or west Wales area? Are you interested in marine conservation or the heritage/history of the Welsh coast? We’re looking for passionate volunteers to join our Living Seas team and to help us to help our seas.

“We need an army of people who love the sea and understand that there is no life without water” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine conservation, meet new people who share your interests and experience Wales’ amazing marine life!

Living Seas Wales Volunteers can take part in or organise research and outreach activities in their local area, attend events including the Living Seas Live! Roadshow (set locations) or volunteer from home.

Volunteer activities include –

  • Conducting marine and coastal surveys
  • Helping with community outreach events e.g. talks, rock pooling and wildlife walks
  • Collecting, archiving and digitising historical records relating to welsh coastal/marine wildlife
  • Engaging with and inspiring the public through our Living Seas Live! Roadshow
  • Taking part in marine advocacy campaigns and much more

Volunteers living locally to New Quay can be based at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, and can also help to run our busy visitor centre (March-Nov).

YOU DON’T NEED A BACKGROUND IN SCIENCE TO BECOME INVOLVED! Full training and support will be provided by our living seas staff and existing volunteers.

Interested? We’re hosting a volunteer taster session on Saturday 22nd September, 10:30am-1pm at our centre in New Quay. Come along to find out how you can become involved and to try out a mini dolphin watch and beach clean.

For more information and to book a place on the taster session please contact Laura on volunteer@cbmwc.org or 01545 560224.

 

Living Seas Not Littered Seas

For over 15 years the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre have been tackling marine litter on New Quay’s beaches and the surrounding area. The dedicated Living Seas Team of staff and volunteers, host regular community litter picks and conduct beach cleans daily throughout the summer months.

Since 2011 the team have been recording the amount of litter collected, categories include plastic, cigarette butts, glass, rope/fishing gear, polystyrene and much more. During this time volunteers have spent over 950 hours collecting a staggering 157,736 pieces of litter which has included over 50,000 pieces of plastic! Click here to see more of our beach clean stats.

To kick start 2018, Year of The Sea in Wales, we asked the local community to join us for a beach clean. Over 50 volunteers attended the event helping to collect 25 rubbish filled bags from the three beaches in New Quay! If you would like to join our Living Seas Team for a beach clean we are running monthly clean ups over 2018, please visit our website or Facebook page for more details.

You can also make a difference by making a few small changes to reduce your use of single-use plastic. Click here to see our top tips for cutting out plastic.

Living Seas Volunteer Opportunities at CBMWC

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to join our Living Seas Volunteer Team for the 2018 field season (12th March – 5th November 2018). Volunteers will assist with our Living Seas research and community engagement work.

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to carry out marine mammal research and become involved in environmental education and our awareness raising work. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain vital experience in field work, research methods, community engagement and much more.

The volunteer programme at CBMWC has received national recognition after achieving the Investing in Volunteers Award (IiV), the UK’s quality standard for volunteer management, in January 2017. We provide a fantastic volunteer experience!

Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

The positions available for 2018 include –

Deadline for applications is 23:59pm on Sunday 11th February. Applications will be reviewed as received and volunteer opportunities are available until filled.

If you live locally to New Quay and are interested in volunteering with us then please visit our local volunteer homepage. We’re always looking for local people to join our volunteer team.

If you have any questions please email volunteer@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224.

Laura Evans, Living Seas Volunteer Coordinator

Christmas Gifts for Marine Enthusiasts!

Are you looking for a unique Christmas gift for a loved one? Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre can provide you with the perfect gift for any marine enthusiast.

You can Adopt a Cardigan Bay Dolphin here for just £30 a year! Choose from one of four Welsh dolphins, including newcomers Jacky and Dylan favourites of our Living Seas Volunteers. The adoption can be catered to adults or children (12 and under) and are filled with information about dolphins and other local marine life, a photo of your chosen dolphin, a cuddly toy (children) or tote bag (adult) and a £2.50 voucher off a Dolphin Survey Boat Trip.

You could also treat a loved one to a wildlife watching experience with a Dolphin Survey Boat Trips voucher with prices from just £22.50. These trips will offer the voucher holder with a chance to spot some of Wales’ amazing marine life including bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, Atlantic grey seals and a range of marine birds including gannets, razorbills and guillemots.

Not only are these great gifts your money and support will help us to continue our vital research as well as allowing us to raise awareness of the amazing marine life found in Wales and the problems faced by our marine animals.

Please be sure to order gifts by Monday 18th December to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas Day! All orders received after 21st December will not be fulfilled until the new year. 

Please direct enquires to info@cbmwc.org or call 01545 560224 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)