Two back to back 2 hour trips today with high school students from Germany, visiting on a school trip. They live far away from the coast so were very keen to get out to sea, so we really had to search to find as much wildlife as possible in these short periods!! We began the first trip, quietly coming up to the cave with the seal pup, still happily safe and tucked away, very well camouflaged.. only really noticeable when it gives a little wiggle. Slowly working offshore, we began seeing more and more gannets fly through and circling on the horizon so we throttled up in the direction of these birds, aware that we had to watch the clock. Sadly no cetaceans to be seen, but the buzz of watching gannets close by, diving into the sea like missiles! Always very exciting to witness. And a dark ‘BONXIE’ great skua!! ..right in amongst the gulls following a trawler. And heading back into the shelter of the coast.. up pops a small, silver head of a young seal, bringing joy and delight to everyone on board!!
After a speedy switch-over we were back out once again searching! This time we headed west, soon to be rewarded by 2 beautiful peregrine falcons, one adult sat high up on a perch which has not been seen occupied before.. and a juvenile female, brown in colour. Continuing, we saw lots of gannet activity so headed further offshore once again, towards the Old Wall Reef. We were searching and searching for fins and just about to head in when suddenly.. up pops a group of little harbour porpoises!! 10 adults all feeding together. We raced along next to them at speed, splashing and surfing!!! Immense excitement for the students who had never seen cetaceans in the wild before!! To see such a show. And unusual as well to see this behaviour in porpoises. A quick peak on seal pup on our way in, with views of another peregrine flying high above us. Today just shows how no two trips are ever the same, even within the same afternoon.
Seal Pup plus a juvenile Atlantic Grey Seal, 10+ Razorbills, 1 Guillemot, Lots of Gannets, 1 “BONXIE” GREAT SKUA, 3 Peregrine Falcons, two adults and one juvenile, a group of 10 Harbour Porpoise feeding, 3 Kittiwakes, Herons, Egrets, 2 Ravens, Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers