A View of the Bay (week 4)

Living Seas volunteer Andy usually spends his time conducting Dolphin Watch surveys for Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre however, due to COVID-19 all our research work from CBMWC has been put on hold. He is lucky enough to live in a flat overlooking New Quay Bay and has spent lockdown wildlife watching from his home.So, what a week of wildlife fun it’s been...enough to keep me wildlife watching for hours.

Andy Dolphin Watching (Nov 19)

Going straight in at number one this week is moths! The entrance stairway to my humble abode is rapidly becoming Ceredigion's moth epicenter. The largest visitor is the poplar hawk moth, mentioned in last week’s update, which comes and goes. A new arrival has been a pale tussock moth a beautiful mixture of greys and browns with big furry front legs. But the oscar-winner for me is white ermine, named because it looks exactly like white ermine. This species has a little, furry topknot (I think that's called the thorax) and wings in pale cream with tiny black dots. It’s not a biggie but very eye-catching.

White Ermine

Number two on this week’s wildlife chart has been baby birds! The species list so far is robin, dunnock, magpie and the most obvious due to the noise the blackbird. Young blackbirds at this stage are actually brown (both sexes) like the adult female. Their constant begging squawks are wearyingly persistent...doubly so for Mum & Dad blackbird no doubt.

Last week's bottlenose dolphin madness has continued unabated with several days where I spotted big groups of dolphins including adults and juveniles as well as lots of leaping.

The calmer weather has meant there has been less bird activity out at sea. No manxies all week and perhaps only two days of gannet action. Interestingly, I saw a gannet make a bit of an error with its dive strategy (pretty unusual for them). It seemed to alter its dive quite late in proceedings, perhaps it spotted an even bigger fish as it plummeted down and so it altered course. Big mistake. It wasn't quite a belly flop but very nearly...

Northern Gannet © Sarah Perry

So finally to bat news...the news is, there is no news sadly. I've tried my new bat detector and it works really well but I’ve had no bat volunteers to try it out on. I'll keep trying and let you know when I’m successful.

Until next time!