17/10/2013 – Bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals

2 hour survey, start time 09:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 2-3, wind SW/S
Four bottlenose dolphins, including one calf

For the first hour of this survey there were no sightings but then four bottlenose dolphins, including one calf were spotted leaping and splashing in the waters near to the fish factory. They travelled East from this area, possibly searching for prey whilst on the move. Once they reached an area of water near the cardinal buoy they began staying in one area and leaping once again.

2 hour survey, start time 11:00
Weather conditions: fair- sunny, sea state 2-3, wind SW
Seven bottlenose dolphins, including one calf and an Atlantic grey seal

Three bottlenose dolphins were spotted foraging at depth at the beginning of this survey and four dolphins were also seen travelling close to the cardinal buoy in a south-easterly direction. At the next survey interval this travel direction changed to south westerly and one calf was also seen.
For 90 minutes of the survey period these four dolphins were seen staying close to the cardinal buoy, foraging at depth and milling around the surface. A grey seal was also seen close the harbour wall.

2 hour survey, start time 13:00
Weather conditions: sunny, sea state 2, wind SW
Six bottlenose dolphins, including one calf and an Atlantic grey seal

Four bottlenose dolphins, including one calf were foraging at depth at the beginning of this survey close to the cardinal buoy. They moved slowly westwards whilst still foraging at depth. The group then split into two adults and a mother and calf and travelled back towards the cardinal buoy where they were active at the surface with leaps and splashes whilst the travelling adults continued foraging.
There was then a period of over 30 minutes with no sightings. Then two separate groups of three bottlenose dolphins appeared; one group which included a calf, was milling around the surface of the waters approximately 300m in front of the harbour wall and the other was foraging at depth by the cardinal buoy. An Atlantic grey seal was also spotted around 100m from the harbour wall. These two groups of dolphins joined together at the end of the survey and began travelling north west whilst possibly searching for prey on the move.

2 hour survey, start time 15:00
Weather conditions: fair - overcast, sea state 1, wind NW
Seven bottlenose dolphins, including one calf and three Atlantic grey seals

Three bottlenose dolphins, including one calf were seen travelling west at the beginning of this survey approximately 300m in front of the harbour wall. They were then joined by six other adults who spread themselves out across the water stretching from the fish factory to the cardinal buoy and also coming in close to the harbour wall, they were mainly foraging at depth with long dives. This activity began to calm down after about an hour and the numbers seen dropped to four dolphins were travelling west and foraging. Three Atlantic grey seals were also spotted during the course of this survey.