17/09/2017: Bottlenose dolphins and grey seal

2hr survey. Start time 7:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 2, wind direction SW

Yesterday’s surveys started at 7.00am due to the forecasted sunny weather in New Quay, a lovely start to the day seeing dolphins during the sun rise over the North West hills. Dolphins were spotted in the start of survey at 7.00am which were seen throughout the first two hour survey. Two were seen by the cardinal buoy foraging for food.

2hr survey. Start time 9:00
Weather conditions: fair/sunny, sea state 2, wind direction SE

A total of 8 dolphins were then seen from 9.00-11.00am, spotted by the harbour wall and swimming towards the cardinal buoy, their favourite feeding area in the reefs. A group of 5 with a juvenile calf were swimming closely and foraging together. This group was then seen splitting up across the bay to feed in separate locations, thought to be chasing fish in different directions. Several close boat encounters were seen from the shore, as the WT marine life centre was taking advantage of the smooth seas and running research boat trips open to the public for viewing up close.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 2, wind direction N

3 of the same bottlenose dolphins and boats which encountered dolphins were observed as in the previous survey, as well as gannets and several oyster catchers enjoying the clear weather and foraging in the bay. Dolphins were observed in their favourite feeding area, the cardinal buoy.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 2, wind direction N

No sightings

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: fair/overcast, sea state 1/2, wind direction NW

No sightings

2hr survey. Start time 17:00
Weather conditions: fair/sunny, sea state 2/3, wind direction NW

We continued our survey until 19.00pm yesterday because of the clear weather. During the 17.00pm survey a female Atlantic Grey Seal was spotted at 18.00pm bottling its head out of the water, directly in front of the harbour wall. 2 Dolphins were spotted during the final half an hour of the day’s surveys at 18.30pm by the fish factory.