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.So, what a week of wildlife fun it’s been...enough to keep me wildlife watching for hours.
Interesting week folks...one of some wildlife identity crisis issues in fact for some of our creatures! What do I mean by that I hear you say? Well, in amongst the regular sightings (of which more in a mo), there have been some real anomalies... a moth that thinks its a butterfly, a seabird that thinks its a land-bird, a night-hunter that likes to be out mid-afternoon and a fish that thinks its a bird! Read on and discover.
So, Monday brought tons of dolphins (almost literally, three were the biggest I've ever seen) all around the bay but mostly in the usual spots...near the Cardinal buoy, end of the harbour wall etc. Lots of leaping and, on the calmer days, quite a bit of chilling at the surface.
The bay is now permanently full of guillemots and razorbills doing their aukey stuff, big numbers seemingly this year. And the first of my 4 'weirdo's' mentioned above, leaping fish! I've seen so many mackerel airborne this week it's incredible...fully out of the water. I always check for dolphins when I see this happen but so far none, perhaps its patrolling bass that cause this or the fish really do think they're birds.
Secondly, on the oddness scale, fulmars over my front lawn during a midweek storm, oddly, with offshore winds. First time I've seen that...fulmars often seek inland cliffs to breed but seeing them right outside the flat's a first for me. The same storm also brought the manx shearwaters in very close...so close they were being obscured by the trees when viewed from the flat.
After the storm, a kestrel has been patrolling this part of the shore..red kites and buzzards are frequent here (great news as they were so rare until quite recently) but kestrel are unusual. More unusual for me, the third anomaly species, a stunning black, red and white 'butterfly' mid-afternoon on Friday turned out to be a garden tiger moth...day flying and brightly coloured it really was a gaudy treat to enjoy.
The final 'who am I, what am I doing here' species ... a pair (or was it parent/young ?)of tawny owl, several times, mid-afternoon during the week. The female or young 'eee-wick' being answered by the 'too-whoo' of the male.
You've just got to love wildlife's utter randomness, haven't you?