Today gave us perfect weather for a 7 hour trip, allowing us to go far offshore and cover a large amount of sea, all the way along the Lizard Peninsula. The glassy sea conditions meant nothing got past our eyes and even the tiny Harbour Porpoises showed up so clearly above the water. Over a dozen different sightings of three different Cetacean species were enjoyed throughout the trip today, with close up views of all species and sightings seeming to occur almost continuously. We were privileged to share many hours with these captivating animals, to the excitement of the university students on board who had travelled down from Cheshire. An incredible and rare interaction between Common and Risso’s Dolphins was the highlight of today’s trip, when a feeding frenzy of Common Dolphins was amazingly joined by a small group of Risso’s Dolphins, bursting up out of the sea in unison. This was repeated approx 3 to 4 times, followed by a pause while they took a deep breath to dive down for food, before erupting again. It was extraordinary to witness these two species so close together and to compare the vast size of the Risso’s with their bright white backs to the speed and agility of their smaller relatives.. video to be posted shortly. Both Risso’s and Common Dolphins were also seen breaching and splashing, giving us good views of their tail flukes.. these Cetaceans covered such a large area at times it was difficult to know where to look.
Lots of impressive birds to be seen as well today including Great Northern Divers, some could be seen very close, completely undisturbed by Free Spirit, displaying full summer plumage.. puffins flying through.. and a “BONXIE” Great Skua. We also had several sightings of Grey Seals along the coastline displaying a range of lethargic behaviours such as logging and bottling, including a few of last year’s pups which were very inquisitive and playful. Overall an amazing and memorable trip which happily could have lasted even longer.
21 Risso’s Dolphins, sightings lasted over an hour, 81 Common Dolphins including a maternal group, feeding together with Risso’s and interacting closely with Free Spirit, 7 Harbour Porpoise from 2 different interactions, 11 Atlantic Grey Seals, 2 PUFFINS, 18 Great Northern Divers, 1 “BONXIE” Great Skua, Manx Shearwaters, lots passing through and offshore, Razorbills, Guillemots, lots offshore, 3 Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Gannets, 2 Egrets, Ravens, 1 resting on a nest, Bumblebee