Helloooo me hearties. Well I’m overjoyed to say, when we have been able to head offshore, the diversity and volume of wildlife has been truly spectacular and incredibly exciting. For two days running and all just offshore from Falmouth, the whole bay was alive and erupting with multiple shoals of feeding and feasting Giant Bluefin Tuna, such a phenomenal sight to witness as these are big powerful fishes that quite literally come up to feed RIPPING the seas surface apart in a series of vast, explosive splashes.. phenomenal.. big fish too at some eight feet in length and not ones or twos either but fifties and sixties all coming up together, hence why you see these huge areas of white water and spray at first glance. You never really get much notice or warning prior to them coming up to feast, it takes you completely by surprise. I did a double take the first time as I was slowly heading back to Falmouth from being way down the Lizard, when away in the distance about a mile away, my eyes, always scanning, caught what I thought was a distant squall coming in as it just looked like a vast series of crashing waves and white water at that distance. The reason why the double take was it was relatively calm with just the odd little choppy wavelets, in what was really just a long rolling gentle sea so it was alarm.. hmmmmm there it is again.. right then.. sandwich down and Swarovski’s up.. WHOA.. Giant Bluefin Tuna, busting up and feeding. Hold on everyone, as we are throttling up to investigate. So exciting as this was all way inshore and it would have easily covered a good two miles of sea as shoal after shoal of these huge and powerful fish blasted in and around us to feed, leaving everyone in awe. Jaws dropping, eyes popping, cameras clicking and excited exclamations coming up to me from everyone below.. “I didn’t realise they were so BIG”.. “there over there, no there, there, there..” “Clock face directions please, please everyone”. But really they were just about everywhere you looked, we were veritably surrounded.
Now if that wasn’t exciting enough, we have also happily recorded some large feeding gatherings of both Common Dolphins. +-123 individuals in just one pod which is always a joy and a truly amazing spectacle to witness. But I think more importantly for me is I have been so incredibly privileged to once again witness a mass gathering, a SUPER POD no less, of those endearing and tiny little Harbour Porpoise conservatively numbering some +-150 individuals all feeding together, some leaping clean out of the water, something you don’t normally observe with Harbour Porpoise, along with rushing, spray and high speed feeding as they chase down their prey. I just adore these shy little Cetaceans and these mass gatherings are something I have never documented before as normally you only ever see them in ones or twos, a group of ten is a lot. This is my third now ever sighting and recording of such an event.. 2014/2015 and now 2018. The first recording back in October 2014, incredibly some +-400, yes FOUR HUNDRED Harbour Porpoise, left me speechless. Then in September 2015 it was similar to this recent recording, at around +- one hundred and fifty individuals, quite remarkable. I would be fascinated to know if anyone has ever witnessed anything like this before with Harbour Porpoise.
Just before I finish off this last week’s sightings, I’m thrilled and delighted to share with you all that Seals are once again building in numbers locally as they return from their summer feeding locations to gather, moult and socialise again, with a high count of +- 25 on yesterday’s dedicated wildlife cruise, along with my FIRST DIVERS for this Autumn again only sighted yesterday, with THREE Great Northern Divers, one an absolute beauty in immaculate full summer plumage. Such large and stunning birds which I absolutely adore so I’m really thrilled to see them returning once again to overwinter in a large and sheltered bays of their SPA which now covers from the mouth of the Helford River Estuary all the way around and in to St Austell Bay. With a lovely calm and gentle forecast ahead for this week and into next, there is no better time than now as Falmouth Bay is full of a fabulous diversity of outstanding wildlife. Please do wrap up warm. Thermal Layers are best along with hats and gloves now too. Looking forward to sharing lots more exciting wildlife adventures with you all. Eyes peeled everyone.
+- 564 Common Dolphins, multiple sightings, individuals with maternal groups, traveling, hunting and feeding, biggest group +- 123, +- 214 Harbour Porpoise, multiple sightings, all feeding groups including one mass gathering, a super pod of no less than +-150 individuals, Giant Bluefin Tuna, multiple sightings, all sizes, smalls @ +-50lbs to giants @ +-750lbs, +- 42 Atlantic Grey Seals, building numbers, biggest group 25, 3 FIRST GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS, 12 BALEARIC SHEARWATERS, 4 in one trip, 7 BONXIE GREAT SKUAS, 5 ARCTIC SKUAS, light and dark phase, 5 SANDWICH TERNS, individuals passing through on migration south, Kittiwakes, lots offshore, Guillemots and Razorbills, building numbers, 7 PUFFINS, Gannets, lots offshore continually passing through and feeding, +- 67 Mediterranean Gulls, lots offshore and in groups, 4 Peregrine Falcons, 3 Buzzards, 7 Kestrels, 37 Lesser Black Back Gulls, 45 Oystercatchers, 36 Curlews, 4 Whimbrels, 7 Redshanks, 8 Greenshanks, 12 Turnstones, 5 Kingfishers, 17 Egrets, one flock all feeding along coast after Storm Callum went through