31/08/2017: 17 bottlenose dolphins and 12 Atlantic grey seals

All day survey, start time 09:39
Weather conditions: sea state 2-4, visibility >10, light swell
17 bottlenose dolphins and 12 Atlantic grey seals

The first sighting of the trip was a female Atlantic grey seal hauled out close to Birds Rock. Further down the coastline six Atlantic grey seals were spotted hauled out and in the water on a small beach including four females, one male and one new born seal pup! Further down the coast again, another female Atlantic grey seal was spotted in the water. The first sighting of bottlenose dolphins was of a group of four including one calf near Aberporth, which were seen leaping, tail slapping, approaching the boat and bow riding. This group was associating with four gannets and there were also about 30 manx shearwaters in the same area. Another two bottlenose dolphins were spotted soon after this, although only seen a few times they seemed to be travelling North West. Just past Aberporth another Atlantic grey seal was spotted in the water, and then another bottlenose dolphin was seen foraging and chasing fish at the surface of the water, as well as approaching the boat. The next sighting was an hour later of another grey Atlantic grey seal in the water. Near Mwnt beach, a mother and a calf were seen foraging and chasing fish at the surface of the water. An hour later again and further offshore, a lone bottlenose dolphin was spotted, and did a very high leap out of the water just next to the boat, after which it was not seen again. Further along the offshore leg back to New Quay, an encounter with a group of six bottlenose dolphins included bow riding, wake riding, leaping, tail slapping and vocalising. Offshore from Llangranog, one bottlenose was seen travelling and in the same area six gannets and over 200 manx shearwaters were also seen feeding. The final sighting of the trip was of a bull Atlantic grey seal in the water, and a pup was spotted on the beach behind it.