Weather conditions: Fair/Overcast, Sea State 1 – 2, Wind Direction SW – SE
A very exciting start to the day saw a large number of bottlenose dolphins arrive in the Bay, a spectacular sight for all to see. Across the 7:00 am survey period, as many as 12 dolphins across two separate groups were sighted foraging shortly in front of the Cardinal Marker, routinely breaching and leaping out of the water whilst foraging, as well as tossing fish into the air. These foraging groups of dolphins were spotted often followed by a range of sea birds such as gannets, guillemots and oystercatchers among others. This excitement continued into the 9:00 am survey period, where a group of dolphins closely approached the Harbour Wall, where our Living seas Shorefin volunteers were able to photograph the travelling dolphins, positively identifying pairs as Snow-cap; a regular animal often sighted in the bay; travelling North West with a newly born calf, as well as Corky and hers. Bottlenose Dolphins were then a regular sighting in the bay for the remainder of the day until late in the afternoon. With sightings being recorded across almost every 15 minute interval of each survey until 3:30 pm. Following this activity Dolphins were not seen again for the rest of the day.
07/04/2018: Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Atlantic Grey Seals
Weather conditions: sea state 0-3, visibility 0-10km, light swell
The Living Seas volunteers undertook an 8 hour boat survey during which all of the Cardigan Bay Big Three were spotted. A few bottlenose dolphin groups (including 2 juvenile individuals) were seen during the trip. 6 harbour porpoises were also seen, with 3 animals coming within 100m of the boat. Atlantic grey seals were spotted, including males, females and juvenile both in the water and hauled out onto the shoreline. Bird species were also prevalent, including whimbrels, manx shearwaters and a shelduck.
07/05/2018: Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seal
Weather conditions: Sunny/Fair, Sea state 1-2, Wind direction variable
Due to foggy conditions similar to the previous day, surveys were started at 11:00am when visibility began to improve. During the survey bottlenose dolphins were spotted in the bay around 600m from the survey point. They were then seen for the majority of the day until 6:00pm, with adults and juveniles displaying leaping behaviours within at times 300m of the harbour wall. An Atlantic grey seal was also seen in the evening. Gannets were also around the area during the day.
03/05/2018: Bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals
Weather conditions: Sunny/Fair, Sea state 1-2, Wind direction SE-SW
In the morning, bottlenose dolphins were seen at irregular intervals in the bay – with one seen close early on before it headed off towards the headland. Seen foraging, the dolphins were around for a few hours. Also spotted yesterday were seals, with one female individual staying within view of our volunteers for the majority of the afternoon. Gannets were also seen flying and catching prey quite close to the survey point.
Weather conditions: Sunny, Sea state 2-3, Wind direction: SW
Our Living Seas volunteers carried out surveys from 7am to 7pm. Bottlenose dolphins were seen consistently throughout our morning surveys, leaping and tail slapping, as well as showing foraging behaviour. Harbour porpoise were spotted in the afternoon around the headland, as well as a lone bottlenose dolphin within metres of the harbour wall on the last watch of the day. Volunteers observed a range of bird life, including gannets, cormorants and oystercatchers
17/04/2018: 4 Bottlenose Dolphins
Weather Conditions: Fair/Overcast with rain, sea state 2/3, Wind direction: strong S-SE
During a day of awful weather, two land watches were completed on the harbour wall – in which one was successful in recording bottlenose dolphins. Four individuals (including a juvenile) were seen foraging around 700m from the survey point. A northern gannet was also spotted.
09/04/2018: 20 Bottlenose dolphins, 8 Harbour porpoise, 6 Atlantic grey seals
Weather conditions: Sea State 1/2, visibility >10km, light swell, wind force 0-2 North-East
Three, two-hour surveys were conducted on the Anna Lloyd during the day. During the first, a group of 4 seals were seen, with two hauled out on the rocks. These same two seals were spotted regularly throughout the day. Later in the trip, porpoise were also seen foraging around the bay. The second trip saw 13 dolphins, as well as porpoise and seals. The dolphin sightings included a recorded juvenile, seen leaping out of the water alongside two adult individuals. The final trip also saw leaping dolphins, as well as three seals and a single porpoise. Gannets were also seen during the day.
Weather conditions: overcast/rain, sea state 2/3, wind direction NW
At 9 am there were two dolphins, and adult and a juvenile, seen foraging near the Cardinal Marker. Mid way through the survey a group of five dolphins including two young were seen travelling past the headland. The same group of five reappeared off the headland in a frenzy of feeding activity that lasted for a few minutes. The dolphins were chasing fish at the surface rapidly changing direction. Later two dolphins were present foraging off the fish factory. There were no sightings during the 1pm-3pm survey.