Happily, with an unexpected phone call this morning from two lovely visitors who were inquiring if I had a dedicated wildlife cruise heading out today.. being a passionate naturalist first and foremost and my minimum number being just two, I excitedly said yes, it’s offshore we go! As it’s a beautiful day all be it chilly now, having seen a frost first thing but with very light offshore winds, as long as we all togged up and wrapped up warmly I was sure it would be a fun filled and exciting day for us all. With Free Spirit nicely warmed up we were all raring to go.. happily as it turned out, with excitement around every corner!
Atlantic Grey Seals are building happily away again now as Winter arrives. We see an influx of individuals gathering locally. However, much to my complete amazement and overriding joy.. incredibly today I located another newly born Seal Pup in its lovely very fluffy white coat! Overjoyed I can’t tell you, as I never record many Seal pups locally, tragically with Pup No 1 sadly being taken and washed away by Storm Brian. However, as you know, I was absolutely thrilled when I found Seal Pup No 2 who successfully weened and became a new addition to our small local group. So it was beyond excitement and joy when today we have been given Seal Pup No3. Ahhhh.. three Seal pups born locally reminds me of way back in 2002 when I first came to Cornwall, when in those first few early years I happily recorded multiple pups born locally. This dear little pup I think is only a few days old as it was tiny, very white and very fluffy. So it’s all fingers and toes crossed once again, hoping Seal Pup No3 will grow big and strong on Mums rich milk, successfully ween and become a second new addition to our local seal population. Such happy and fabulous news and completely unexpected, as it’s quite late in the year for any new pups to be born.
Moving further on along the stunning coastline, the bays are happily once again filling up with Divers as the snows fall over Northern Europe and to the North of the UK. More and more of these large and exciting birds will move south and west to over-winter in our large and sheltered bays, giving us many interactions and spectacular close up views. Leaving the coastal zone, we headed slowly offshore, in a big wide loop on our return journey back to Falmouth. Joyfully, it wasn’t long before I was calling over the PA.. Dolphins, Common Dolphins at your 2 – O – Clock! This first hunting group comprised of young adolescents who all rushed over to play around Free Spirit and say hello. How lucky and privileged we are to have these endearing and charismatic animals in our Cornish waters, as the joy and pleasure they bring to all who see and share time with them is truly immeasurable, as was happily the case today, my two companions having traveled down from London.
As the day was drawing on, it wasn’t long before I observed a breaching Common Dolphin away, away, about a 1/4 of a mile distant and this time, out at my 11 – 0 – Clock. This group comprised of some twenty individuals including some full adults, again giving us all some exciting and magical views as they all rushed in to play in Free Spirits Bow pressure wave. With the sun now slowly setting West over Falmouth Bay, what greeted us next incredibly as we came back inshore, were those spectacular, huge explosive eruptions, as a whole group of Giant Bluefin Tuna rush headlong in their dynamic feeding frenzies, leaving us all with eyes bulging and jaws open wide, such was the intensity and excitement of witnessing these huge and spectacular fish feeding so close to Free Spirit, rounding off this fun filled and incredibly exciting dedicated wildlife cruise nicely. What a truly magical few hours it had been, just a few miles offshore in the rich and sheltered waters of Falmouth Bay.
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New White Coat Seal Pup No 3, 15 Atlantic Grey Seals, 34 Common Dolphins, three different interactions, Giant Bluefin Tuna, feeding, 3 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red Throated Diver, 2 Ravens, Gannets, lots offshore, Guillemots, lots continually passing through, Razorbills, lots offshore, Kittiwakes, 9 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Oystercatchers, 9 Whimbrels, 3 Egrets, 6 Herons, 2 Little Grebes