17/06/2015: 9 bottlenose dolphins

2hr survey: Start time 09:00.
Weather conditions: Overcast, sea state 1, wind direction SW-W.
Six bottlenose dolphins.

For most of this survey there was nothing to report until a lone male seal’s head came out of the water at around half ten. Fifteen minutes later a pod of six dolphins were seen quite far out towards the end of our survey zone. They were travelling progressively and within five minutes they were left of the cardinal buoy. With them was one juvenile.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00.
Weather conditions: Fair/overcast, sea state 1-2, wind direction SW.
Six bottlenose dolphins.

Bottlenose dolphins were seen throughout this survey and they were the same pod of six. Their behaviour had changed from travelling to milling around at the surface as well as leaping out of the water and tail slapping. They were constantly seen being no further out than the cardinal buoy, and one even came into the harbour.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00.
Weather conditions: Overcast, sea state 2, wind direction S.
Seven bottlenose dolphins.

Yet again the same dolphins stayed for the whole of this survey, with another joining the six from before. Not all of them were seen in each 15 minute period, but all were seen most of the time displaying circling or leaping at the surface as well as foraging at depth. They were seen close to the harbour wall or in front of it, but occasionally were seen further out past the headland.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00.
Weather conditions: Overcast, sea state 2, wind direction SW.
Nine bottlenose dolphins.

Two more dolphins had joined the seven from earlier, making the total number of individuals nine around quarter past four. The initial behaviour was a mixture of foraging at depth and fast circling at the surface with leaping. Towards the end of the survey, most of the dolphins were seen to be travelling away from the harbour and towards the fish factory headland. In the last 15 minutes, one dolphin was seen on the edge of the survey area, near to the horizon.