27/10/2017: Bottlenose dolphins, Harbour Porpoise and Atlantic grey seals

8hr survey, start time 08:50
Weather conditions: sea state 1-2, visibility >10km, light swell
78 Bottlenose dolphins, 1 Harbour Porpoise and 3 Atlantic grey seals

The first two sightings of this survey were Grey Seals spotted within the first half-hour close to the Newquay headland. The first group of bottlenose dolphins were spotted just before Ynys Lochtyn, it included fourteen individuals including one juvenile and one calf, the survey boat stayed with this group for about forty minutes and various behaviours were observed during this time, including vocalizations, foraging and leaping, there was also a gannet observed associating with the group of dolphins. After leaving this group, a second large group of bottlenose dolphins were soon spotted near Llangrannog, this group included nine individuals including one juvenile and one calf, this group interacted more with the boat and numerous individuals were spotted bow-riding and wake-riding close to the boat. This group were soon joined by another large pod of eleven dolphins, including three juveniles and one new born calf, still with visible foetal folds. A little further up the coast two more bottlenose dolphin groups were spotted in quick succession, the first, a group of four were soon joined by sixteen individuals including one calf, this group was very sociable and clear hunting behaviours were observed as well as vocalisation and leaping. After leaving this group, there was a quiet period around midday with no sightings for about an hour until a single harbour porpoise was spotted foraging offshore of the Aberporth headland, on the return journey back toward New Quay, two Grey seals were spotted bottle close to the coast; before another group of dolphins were spotted. This group was a group of six individuals which were observed leaping and foraging offshore of Cymtydu, this group were joined after fifteen minutes by a group of eighteen more dolphins including three juveniles and one calf, these individual also interacted with the boat bow- and wake-riding. Overall, a large amount of dolphins were spotted on what was a very sunny day with ideal conditions for sighting marine mammals.