06/06/2016: 13 Bottlenose Dolphins

2h survey. Start time 07:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 1, wind direction S/SE
10 bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins were spotted in the beginning of the survey. A group of 8 animals including 2 juveniles were seen staying leaping and mingling. The dolphins stayed in the area for around 45 minutes. Another group of two dolphins were spotted staying, long dives and thought to be foraging at depth. The group of two dolphins then headed round the headland, then returned 15 minutes later travelling east across the bay. They were travelling with regular surfacing. The dolphins were in the area until the end of the survey.

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 1, wind direction variable
12 bottlenose dolphins

The dolphins from the previous survey were still in the area at the start of the 9am survey. Three bottlenose dolphins were spotted by the cardinal marker staying long dives and thought to be foraging at depth. One of these was a juvenile. The dolphins stayed in the area for 30 minutes and then split into two groups. At around 10 am, the original two dolphins were still over by the cardinal buoy when two new groups came around from the headland. There was one group of 4 and a group of 5, 2 of which were juveniles. These were all travelling easterly across the bay. The dolphins then split into 4 groups, 3 were seen over by the cardinal buoy, and then a group of 7 and 2 juveniles were seen near the headland. These were staying with long dives thought to be travelling at depth. At 10:30 there were 9 animals and 3 groups, these were all seen by the cardinal marker. Then some of the dolphins returned to make a group of 2 who were staying and taking long dives, a group of 7 including 2 juveniles who were leaping and mingling. Another group of 3 including 1 juvenile were also seen at the same time closer to the cardinal marker.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 1, wind direction NW
13 bottlenose dolphins

Of the 12 dolphins seen in the previous survey, 4 dolphins including 2 juveniles were seen over by the cardinal marker leaping and mingling. Another 2 groups were then spotted. One group of 3 including 1 calf who were staying and taking long dives were seen over by the cardinal marker. These were leaping and mingling. Another dolphin joined the group of 4 making a group of 5 and one calf that were leaping and mingling out near the cardinal marker whilst the group of 3 and group of 5 were still in the area foraging. The dolphins then became a group of 6 including one calf, a group of 2 and a group of 5 all seen over by the cardinal marker foraging. The dolphins then became a group of 8 and a group of 2 and were staying and foraging. Some of the dolphins then left the survey area to leave a group of 3 and one calf. Nearing the end of the survey, the dolphins returned to 3 groups all seen over by the cardinal marker. These were staying, taking long dives thought to be foraging at depth.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: sunny/fair, sea state 1, wind direction NW
9 bottlenose dolphins

The same dolphins were still in the survey area from the previous survey. Two groups of 4 were seen, one to the north of the cardinal marker, these were leaping and mingling and the other group was closer to the cardinal marker foraging and taking long dives. The dolphins stayed in the area for 30 minutes. The dolphins then became 3 groups, a group of 2, a group of 4 and a group of 3 all staying and foraging around the cardinal marker. Around 13:45, a group of 3 dolphins began to travel rapidly across the bay towards the headland whilst another group of 3 were travelling with long dives in the opposite direction past the cardinal marker. A group of one was seen south of the cardinal marker staying and diving. As the survey progressed, the dolphins were seen in the survey area as 3 different groups varying in numbers. The group of 2 dolphins foraging south of the cardinal marker became a group of 3 and remained in the area for the rest of the survey.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: fair/overcast, sea state 1, wind direction S/SW
7 bottlenose dolphins

The bottlenose dolphins seen in the survey were the same as the previous survey. There were 3 groups, one of 2 animals which were staying and foraging north of the cardinal marker. A group od 3 including one calf were close to the cardinal marker also staying and foraging. Then a group of 2 were seen nearer to the headland also staying and foraging. The groups stayed in the area for around half an hour. The group of 2 headed off around the headland whilst the groups of 2 and 3 became a group of 4 all now milling around the cardinal marker. The group of 4 then split off to become 3 groups, one of two which were travelling over to the headland and then two groups of one which were staying and taking long dives round by the cardinal marker. The two dolphins travelling towards the headland were then seen over by the headland still travelling slowly in that direction where two dolphins were seen staying and foraging at depth further inshore. One dolphin was still foraging over by the cardinal marker. As the survey progressed, the dolphins began to travel slowly towards the headland and were thought to be foraging on the move. In total there were 3 groups of dolphins seen during the survey and a total of 7 bottlenose dolphins were spotted during the survey.