23/09/2017: Bottlenose dolphins and an Atlantic Grey Seal

2hr survey. Start time 07:00
Weather conditions: overcast, sea state 1/2, wind direction S/SE

Three bottlenose dolphins of two adults and one calf were spotted swimming in separate groups, heading from the west side of the harbour wall towards the east.

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: overcast, sea state 1, wind direction SW

Eleven bottlenose dolphins were sighted during this survey, with four calves including the older juvenile Joey, calf to Jacky who has another younger calf called Jay. This grouping was very active with playful behaviours, leaping and splashing in and out of the water. A pairing was seen bow riding a nearby fishing boat expected to be following the fish. Close boat encounters also included recreational motor boats, which approached the area which the dolphins were surfacing, the dolphins were not disturbed as such as they stayed in the area.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: overcast/fair/sunny, sea state 1, wind direction S-SE

At the start of this survey a total of 5 bottlenose dolphins were seen, with 3 adults foraging and a mother and calf pair travelling SE towards the cardinal marker whilst foraging. These 5 dolphins then began leaping near the cardinal marker before then milling at the surface of the water at the same location for half an hour. This group was then joined by another bottlenose dolphin that was foraging offshore and this stayed there for the next 45 mins. Whilst this was occurring the group of 5 was diminished to 3 individuals, including one calf, but these three remained foraging at the cardinal marker. After this another adult broke off this group and started milling around at the surface offshore. This dolphin then joined the other single dolphin and they both were seen milling at the surface before disappearing from the survey area. The mother and calf pair at the cardinal marker were also joined by another individual for the final half an hour of this survey when they foraged near the cardinal marker before then begin to mill around at the surface.

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

A total of seven dolphins were spotted in two groups, one grouping west of the harbour wall heading towards the second grouping by the cardinal marker. An Atlantic grey seal was also spotted directly in front of the harbour wall at 13.45pm. There were close boat encounters near the dolphins including recreational motor boats which approached the dolphins; this could be viewed as disturbance to the dolphins as they had paused surfacing until the boats had passed.

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

A total of eleven bottlenose dolphins were spotted again during the afternoon survey, stayed by the cardinal marker as previous survey finish and travelled west and separated into two groups with calves staying with mothers in either group. These were seen heading towards the fish factory west of the harbour wall together as one group.

2hr survey. Start time 17:00
Weather conditions: sunny/overcast, sea state 1/2, wind direction SW

Three bottlenose dolphins were seen returning into view of the bay from the harbour wall, after travelling west in previous survey, this grouping consisted of two adults and one calf. These were only seen until 17.45 before travelling out of view for final half of survey.