24/09/2017: Bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals

2hr survey. Start time 07:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 1, wind direction NW-SW

45mins into the survey a pair of juvenile bottlenose dolphins was seen mingling at the surface near the cardinal marker. These then disappeared after 15mins and then an adult bottlenose dolphin was seen travelling E towards the fish factory before this too travelled out of the survey area. Into the last half an hour of the survey a group of seven dolphins were seen, including 4 calves, travelling W from the fish factory whilst foraging. This group was then joined by another adult dolphin and these travelled NE away from the cardinal marker.

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

Half an hour into this survey the group of 8 bottlenose dolphins that had travelled offshore in the previous survey were seen again when they started mingling in front of harbour wall. These then travelled towards the cardinal marker where they started foraging. Then they started traveling again, NE away from the cardinal marker, before turning back and foraging again at the cardinal marker. This group then split up with a group of 5, including 3 calves, foraging in front of the harbour wall with the other three, including 1 calf, remaining foraging at the harbour wall. These groups then remained doing this for the remainder of the survey.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: overcast/rain, sea state 2, wind direction S

At the beginning of this survey the group of three dolphins at the cardinal marker including the one calf remained there foraging with another adult, also seen foraging around the harbour wall. The group of 3 was then joined by two more adults and started leaping at the cardinal marker. There was also a group of 4 seen, including one calf, which was seen travelling W towards the fish factory whilst foraging before these then passed around the headland out of sight. The group of 5 remained leaping at the cardinal marker before being joined by another individual. The three adults remained leaping whilst the other three were foraging. One individual left one group leaving a mother and calf pair foraging at the cardinal marker. An extra juvenile joined the group of three adults and these then remained leaping. This group of 4 left the survey area in the next 15mins and an adult joined the mother and calf pair foraging at the cardinal marker for the next half hour. In addition to these one Atlantic grey seal was seen in front of the harbour wall. A group of 3 adult dolphins were then seen leaping near the cardinal marker before these disappeared from the survey area, with a juvenile joining the three foraging at the cardinal marker.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: overcast/rain, sea state 2-3, wind direction SE-S

At the beginning of this survey a mother and calf pair of bottlenose dolphins was seen travelling towards the fish factory whilst foraging. As well as this, a single dolphin was seen foraging near the cardinal marker. After this the mother and calf pair was seen foraging near the fish factory. There was also a mother and calf pair seen near the cardinal marker foraging and they did this for a further hour. In the same time a grey seal was seen in the water in front of the harbour wall. Then half an hour later another mother and calf group were seen near the cardinal marker as well as a single adult leaping offshore. These then left the survey area and another grey seal was seen in front of the harbour wall. The mother and calf pair moved NE away from the cardinal marker in the next 15 mins whilst foraging and in addition a further two dolphins were seen, with one travelling E towards the cardinal marker and the other mingling at the surface near the cardinal marker. The mother and calf group were seen foraging again near the cardinal marker and these then moved further offshore away from the cardinal marker. Another grey seal was also seen in front of the harbour wall as well as another dolphin that was seen foraging near the cardinal marker.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: overcast/sunny, sea state 1-2, wind direction S

At the start of this survey a group of three adult dolphins were seen foraging near the cardinal marker and remained foraging there for 45mins. 15 mins into this survey a grey seal was also seen in front of the harbour wall and remained bottling whilst heading further offshore for the next 45 mins. One dolphin left the group of 3 dolphins at the cardinal marker before then returning 15mins later. Then these travelled offshore again to forage whilst the other 2 were foraging at the cardinal marker. These two then split with one remaining at the cardinal marker whilst the other foraged further offshore. They remained doing this for the remainder of the survey.

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

The two dolphins from the previous survey remained at the start of this one, as well as an Atlantic grey seal which was seen near the harbour wall, and this stayed here for half an hour. The dolphin at the cardinal marker joined the other foraging further offshore before splitting again with one returning to the cardinal marker. Another adult dolphin then joined this one at the cardinal marker foraging whilst another grey seal was seen in front of the harbour wall. They remained like this for half an hour before the seal left and a juvenile joined a lone individual and foraged. These then left the survey area and no further sightings were made for the remainder of the survey.