16/08/2015: 7 bottlenose dolphins

16/08/2015: 7 bottlenose dolphins

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: Sunny/fair/overcast, sea state 2-1, wind direction S
Five bottlenose dolphins

The first bottlenose dolphin, observed foraging at depth near the fish factory, was seen 45 minutes into the survey period. This individual remained alone in this area for about half an hour, before two more bottlenose dolphins joined it. One was offshore, milling about at the surface, and the other was observed foraging at depth close to the harbour wall. These individuals were joined 15 minutes later in the survey area by a mother and her calf, which were seen offshore milling about at the surface, whilst the other three continued to forage at depth individually. One of the three individual dolphins then joined the mother and calf group for the last 15 minutes, travelling south towards the harbour wall whilst leaping. The other two individuals remained foraging at depth on their own.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: Overcast/fair/sunny, sea state 1, wind direction S/SE
Seven bottlenose dolphins

At the beginning of the survey period, the same group of five bottlenose dolphins were observed travelling with irregular surfacing, thought to be foraging whilst on the move, east towards the cardinal marker. They were joined by another two bottlenose dolphins, also travelling east with irregular surfacing. This group of two travelled into New Quay harbour to forage at depth amongst the boats, remaining there for 45 minutes. Three of the group of five bottlenose dolphins were seen travelling west with irregular surfacing towards the fish factory, before being observed foraging at depth just off the headland. In the second half of the survey period, the two bottlenose dolphins seen foraging in the harbour travelled with irregular surfacing north-west towards the pair of dolphins foraging off the headland. In the final half an hour of the survey period, four of the bottlenose dolphins were observed taking long dives near the cardinal marker, before making their way back towards the headland.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: overcast/fair, sea state 2, wind direction N/NW
Five bottlenose dolphins

At the beginning of the survey period, a lone bottlenose dolphin was seen travelling west with irregular surfacing, thought to be foraging whilst on the move, towards the fish factory. A mother and calf pair was also seen taking long dives, thought to be foraging at depth, around the cardinal marker. The pair remained foraging around the cardinal marker for half an hour, whilst a group of three bottlenose dolphins, including a calf, was seen travelling towards the cardinal marker from the west. The mother and calf pair then moved off, travelling north-east with irregular surfacing, whilst the other group of three dolphins were observed mingling at the surface, closer to the harbour wall. The group of three then split up into one individual and a mother and calf pair. The mother and calf foraged at depth around the cardinal marker, alongside the other mother and calf pair. The individual dolphin was seen travelling towards the cardinal marker with irregular surfacing. In the second half of the survey period, both mother and calf pairs and the individual dolphin were all observed foraging at depth around the cardinal marker, before one of the pairs and the individual moved away, disappearing from the survey area. One mother and calf pair were seen foraging at depth near the cardinal marker till the end of the survey period.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: sunny/fair/overcast/sun and showers, sea state 1, wind direction NE
Seven bottlenose dolphins

At the beginning of the survey period, the same mother and calf pair seen at the end of the last survey period were continued to be observed foraging at depth near the cardinal marker, staying there for the first 45 minutes. Half way through the survey period, a group of three bottlenose dolphins, including a calf, were observed travelling east from the headland, before turning back on themselves, to forage at depth off the headland. The mother and calf pair were again seen foraging at depth near the cardinal marker. The final half an hour of the survey period, and the survey day, saw the disappearance of all the dolphins from the survey area.