04/05/2015: 7 bottlenose dolphins and 1 Atlantic grey seal

2hr survey. Start time 7:00.
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 2, wind direction SE-NW.
5 bottlenose dolphins, including 1 calf

There were bottlenose dolphins to be seen in the survey area throughout the entire 2-hour survey. First, a mother and calf were spotted in the back of the survey area. They stayed there for about 30min exhibiting leaps and tail slaps. They then moved closer to the harbour wall where they stayed for a while circulating at the surface, slowly making their way into the harbour. Afterwards, they travelled further out again but remained around the Cardinal buoy for the rest of this survey period. Within the second hour, more bottlenose dolphins appeared in the survey area. First, two were seen mingling close to the fish factory. A bit later, three bottlenose dolphins, including one calf, were spotted milling around at the surface very close to the pier. Towards the end, only one adult and the calf could be observed.


2hr survey. Start time 9:00.
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 1, wind direction NW-NE-E.
7 bottlenose dolphins, including 2 calves and 1 juvenile

During this survey period, there was a lot of activity of both bottlenose dolphins and boats in New Quay Harbour. Two adult bottlenose dolphins and a calf were seen surfacing regularly between the two piers very close to the shore. The adult and calf at the Cardinal buoy could still be spotted as well. A bit later, they were seen with another adult. The bottlenose dolphins which were seen close to the shore earlier, were disturbed by a motor boat and as a consequence, they first exhibited longer dives and then moved out of the harbour area travelling towards the fish factory. The group at the Cardinal buoy split up and began leaping when a motor boat came closer towards them. Afterwards, only 2 of them were spotted at the same place. Three bottlenose dolphins, including a calf, were observed travelling westerly direction while two adults were seen circling around not far off the harbour wall. They were disturbed by the same motor boat from earlier which came out of the harbour clearly approaching them. They did not surface while the boat was close and after that, only 1 adult was seen leaping further out. A bit later, the two bottlenose dolphins at the Cardinal buoy were disturbed by a sailing boat. They then stopped leaping and started travelling easterly direction. Next, 4 bottlenose dolphins were spotted about 50m South-East of the Cardinal buoy exhibiting long dives feeding on fish while being surrounded by a lot of different sea birds as well. They stayed at the same place feeding on fish until a Visitor Passenger boat came closer which is when they moved to another place. A total of 27 boats of different types were active throughout the survey period with some of them clearly affecting the behaviour of the bottlenose dolphins.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00.
Weather conditions: Fair-Sunny, sea state 2, wind direction SW.
7 bottlenose dolphins, including 1 calf

In the beginning of the survey, 5 bottlenose dolphins were observed in New Quay Harbour split up into 2 groups. Both groups were seen exhibiting long dives; 1 group of 3 around the Cardinal buoy, the other one of 2 bottlenose dolphins closer to the fish factory. Next, one of the latter group was seen closer to the harbour wall; thought to be foraging at depth while the other couldn’t be seen anymore. 1 adult bottlenose dolphin with a calf was then spotted exhibiting long dives about 50m south of the Cardinal buoy. There was still a lot of boat activity around that time but the dolphins didn’t show any behavioural changes. However, the groups split up and were spotted at different places around the survey area; three of them foraging while the one further out was exhibiting leaps and tail slaps. Afterwards, there were 6 bottlenose dolphins spotted spread out between the offshore zone, fish factory, buoy and pier area; all of them thought to be foraging at depth. They were observed to be moving further out offshore. At the end of this survey period, 4 bottlenose dolphins, including a calf, were spotted around the Cardinal buoy foraging at depth. None of the 5 boat encounters throughout this survey provoked behavioural changes of the bottlenose dolphins.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00.
Weather conditions: Fair-Sunny-Overcast/dull, sea state 2, wind direction S.
7 bottlenose dolphins, 1 Atlantic grey seal

First, an adult and a calf bottlenose dolphin were seen in the Buoy area while one adult was spotted further offshore. All of them were exhibiting long dives thought to be foraging at depth. The single bottlenose dolphins started travelling westerly direction whilst still thought to be searching for prey. The adult and calf remained at the same place while another group of 2 bottlenose dolphins were spotted close by. Later, the adult and calf were joined by another adult while 4 bottlenose dolphins, including 2 calves, were spotted in the fish factory area surfacing at irregular intervals. Next, this group was this further offshore exhibiting leaps whereas the other group had moved further up north approaching the other group. Afterwards, 2 adult bottlenose dolphins and a calf were spotted leaping in the fish factory area, 1 exhibiting long dives close by and 2 thought to be foraging at depth in the harbour area. The last group then moved into north-easterly direction while 2 adult and 2 calf bottlenose dolphins were observed leaping close to the pier and later nearby the fish factory. In the end of the survey period, only 2 bottlenose dolphins were spotted, one in the buoy and the other one in the fish factory area both of them exhibiting long dives. Besides, an Atlantic grey seal was spotted close to the harbour wall.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00.
Weather conditions: Fair-Sunny-Overcast/dull, sea state 2, wind direction S.
7 bottlenose dolphins, 1 Atlantic grey seal

In the beginning of this survey period, 5 bottlenose dolphins were spotted in the pier area travelling south-easterly direction. Next, 4, including 2 calves, and another group of 2 bottlenose dolphins were seen travelling easterly direction. Afterwards, a group of 4 adults and a calf was spotted milling around the Cardinal Buoy. An Atlantic grey seal was observed in the water close to the pier and stayed there for a long time. Towards the end of the survey, no sightings were recorded anymore.