26/10/2017: Bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: Overcast/rain (visibility sometimes reduced to 1km), sea state 1, wind direction S/SE/ N/A

This survey began with three bottlenose dolphins travelling north-west some distance off the headland. Nothing was then seen for an hour and a half, until the final interval when a group of eight dolphins (including 2 calves) were seen about 300m beyond the cardinal marker, travelling south towards the harbour wall. Approximately six shags were also seen diving during the survey.
2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: Overcast/rain (visibility sometimes reduced), sea state 1, wind direction SW/ N/A

11 dolphins were seen during this survey. It began with a group of 4, including 2 calves, foraging in front of the harbour wall, whilst a group of 5 (including 1 calf) foraged and leapt halfway between the wall and the cardinal marker. After half an hour the 2 groups were joined by an individual foraging by the headland. The groups then rearranged into a pair foraging by the headland, and one group of 6 and one pair (both including a calf each) foraging some distance in front of the wall. At the start of the second hour, 4 groups were seen foraging and leaping in between the wall and the cardinal marker. These groups consisted of a group of 6 (including 1 calf), a pair, another pair including 1 calf, and an individual. Three of these groups then travelled round the headland, leaving one group of 4 and a group of 3 (each with a calf) foraging in front of the wall). A group of 6 adults and a calf were then seen by the headland (no behaviour noted) and an individual was seen foraging in front of the wall. Meanwhile, an individual foraged by the cardinal marker and a mother and calf foraged halfway between the marker and the wall. During the final interval, one group of three (including a calf) foraged and mingled in front of the harbour wall, while two other groups of three (one with a calf) foraged between the wall and the cardinal marker.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: Rain/ mist (visibility reduced to <2km), sea state 1, wind direction W/SW

This survey began with mother and calf bottlenose dolphins foraging by the cardinal marker whilst an individual foraged off the end of the harbour wall. These two groups then joined up to forage on the nearside of the cardinal marker. They remained there for 45 minutes, then moved to forage in front of the harbour wall. The group then moved closer to the cardinal marker again, and were seen travelling west. Meanwhile, a male Atlantic grey seal was seen just in front of the harbour wall, which was then seen again nearer the headland. No dolphins were seen for the last half hour and nothing was seen in the final interval.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: Overcast, sea state 2, wind direction SW/S

This survey began with a group of nine bottlenose dolphins (including four calves) travelling east towards the cardinal marker. They were then seen out past the cardinal marker lunging and leaping, before moving out further and showing slow mingling behaviour. Two adults and a calf then split off from this group and were seen travelling west between the cardinal marker and the headland, before stopping to forage in this area. This group of three was then joined by another adult and they travelled east again towards the group of six who were still foraging just past the cardinal marker. In the final half hour, the two groups swapped places and the group of six foraged halfway between the cardinal marker and the headland, while the group of 4 foraged by the cardinal marker. The group of six then lost an adult and were last seen displaying fast mingling and lunging behaviour off the headland while the other group continued to forage around the cardinal marker.