We were lucky enough to record 2 different Cetacean species on our two back to back 3 hour trips today for the Marine Mammal Observer training courses with Seiche Training. After a very misty start, this morning’s trip had us recording three separate sightings of Harbour Porpoises which haven’t been sighted in a while… the first two sightings of lone individuals then a larger group of 5 individuals. And this afternoon, a work up of feeding gannets over a mile away happily led us to over 20 Common Dolphins, shallow diving after bait fish. These could be seen very close to the surface and appeared to be floating at times as they fed, and could be heard vocalising through the hydrophone on board. Some of these individuals joined us part of the way back into Falmouth, bow-riding and racing playfully alongside Free Spirit.
As well as the excellent Cetacean viewings, continuous sightings of outstanding and diverse bird species added to the excitement today. High counts of Puffins were recorded for both trips as well as Storm Petrels, the tiniest bird out here, an Arctic Skua harassing and stealing food from a Kittiwake, and Sandwich Terns sitting on an old floating mattress. Sadly though, signs of plastic pollution are everywhere, particularly noticeable in the current lines… from celebration balloons to water bottles and rubber gloves.
25 Common Dolphins, 2 different groups, 7 Harbour Porpoise, 3 separate sightings, 162 Puffins, 12 Storm Petrels, 6 Sandwich Terns, Arctic Skua, dark phase, harassing a Kittiwake, “Bonxie” Great Skua, Kittiwakes, 2 Fulmars, 1 Great Northern Diver, Guillemots, lots of large rafts offshore, Razorbills, Gannets, lots offshore, travelling or diving, Swallow