29/08/2015: 11 bottlenose dolphins

29/08/2015: 11 bottlenose dolphins

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

Shortly into the survey period, a female Atlantic grey seal was sighted briefly in the water in front of the harbour wall. In the second half of the survey, a single bottlenose dolphin was seen briefly, travelling south-east quite far out. Three bottlenose dolphins were seen shortly afterwards, travelling south-west with irregular surfacing, away from the cardinal marker and towards the harbour wall. Another lone bottlenose dolphin was seen near the cardinal marker, foraging at depth. At the end of the survey period, the three bottlenose dolphins travelling towards the wall had split into a lone individual, observed foraging at depth off the end of the harbour wall, and a nearby pair, now identified as a mother and calf foraging at depth. The lone bottlenose dolphin that had been seen foraging near the cardinal marker was joined by another individual, with the pair foraging at depth together.

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: overcast, sea state 1, wind direction S
Eleven bottlenose dolphins

At the beginning of the survey period, the five bottlenose dolphins seen in the previous survey period were still in the survey area, with a lone individual foraging at depth near the cardinal marker, a mother and calf pair foraging at depth in front of the harbour wall, and a mother and calf pair foraging at depth in the harbour. The five dolphins stayed in the survey area for the entire first half of the survey period, after which they began to disband and disappear. Two new groups, each consisting of three bottlenose dolphins, were seen near the end of the survey period, foraging at depth in front of the harbour wall and near the cardinal marker.

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: sunny, sea state 2, wind direction N/NE
Four bottlenose dolphins

Some of the same bottlenose dolphins seen in the previous survey period were still observed in the survey area. Four bottlenose dolphins, in two pairs, were observed mingling at the surface near the cardinal marker. The pairs then joined to form a group of four, and were observed mingling at the surface and foraging at depth together, near the cardinal marker, for the remainder of the survey period.

2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: sunny/fair, sea state 1-2, wind direction W/SW
Four bottlenose dolphins

The same four bottlenose dolphins seen in the previous survey period were observed throughout the survey period. At the beginning of the period, all four, including a calf, were seen foraging at depth near the cardinal marker. The group continued this behaviour for the first half of the period, before splitting into two groups of two. One of the pairs was observed continuing to forage at depth near the cardinal marker, with the other pair, a mother and calf, displaying splashy behaviour further back. One of the pairs then disappeared for about half an hour, whilst the mother and calf pair continued to forage near the cardinal marker till the end of the survey period. Towards the end of the survey period, the other pair of dolphins were seen again, foraging at depth behind the mother and calf pair.

2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: fair, sea state 2, wind direction W/SW
Two bottlenose dolphins

The same mother and calf pair of bottlenose dolphins were still observed foraging at depth near the cardinal marker at the beginning of the survey period. About fifteen minutes in, the pair travelled west and past the headland ,with irregular surfacing, out of the survey area.