Helloooo me hearties. With there never being two trips the same, let alone two weeks the same, I’m delighted to share with you all that it’s been another fun filled roller coaster of outstanding and incredibly diverse wildlife.. both Cetaceans and I’m thrilled to say Avian species this week. So that’s where I’m going to start, as the multitude of Pelagic Seabird species at times was just phenomenal and in some respects quite unexpected as there was a couple of days when the whole of Falmouth Bay was so incredibly quiet and nearly devoid of any wildlife. This is why it has been so fascinating and remarkable.. when it finally switched back on, the whole bay was absolutely smothered and came alive with Pelagics, with FOUR different species of Shearwaters being observed and interestingly recorded in high numbers.
Yesterday, Sunday the 16th of September for example, saw us recording no less than FIFTY SEVEN GREAT Shearwaters, one flock having EIGHTEEN birds all together, THIRTY TWO SOOTY Shearwaters, some TWENTY EIGHT BALEARIC Shearwaters and quite literally THOUSANDs of MANX Shearwaters, all as multiple feeding groups. Vast areas of the whole bay was just a blurrrrrrr of wings with BONXIE SKUAs, some of them spectacularly marked, marauding through the masses. Joy of joys was the sighting of two LITTLE TERNS, beauties and so tiny, the first one looked like it was literally standing on the sea surface but on closer inspections it was actually standing on a very tiny, partially submerged piece of wood. Such dear little things are these diminutive and very special Little Terns, when it finally took off, the tiny submerged piece of wood bobbed back up to the surface.. ahhhh, just fascinating to find out in the middle of nowhere, so unexpected and ever so tiny. I’m wondering if this soon to be, passing hurricane Helena, expected to pass by the west of the UK Monday 17th /Tuesday 18th, has anything to do with the sheer volume of exciting Pelagics we have recorded recently..
I’m also delighted to share with you all that Cetaceans, and FOUR different species no less.. Risso’s, Bottlenose and Common Dolphins, along with their tiny cousins, the endearing little shy Harbour Porpoise, have also kept us absolutely thrilled and entertained, bringing joy and happiness to all. Those dear little Harbour Porpoise in particular have really entertained us due to the sheer numbers currently feeding in many multiple groups of fives, tens and at times high twenties, all rushing, splashing and some leaping completely out of the water, something you really don’t see every day or even associate with Harbour Porpoise. The other truly amazing and delightful thing is at times, they were also ‘bold as brass’, completely surrounding Free Spirit and us all, passing by and looking up, just a half a metre away, repeatedly coming back for more up close and incredibly personal interactions.. so very special indeed and really thrilling having everyone so lucky to have been on board with me at the time.
Falmouth Bay is most certainly coming alive and once again, it is all down to BAIT FISH shoals.. tiny Anchovies, tiny 5 inch joey Mackerel, silver Sprats and Pilchards.. which in turn should happily translate in to lots more Cetaceans of various species, as these autumn months can be so abundant with a truly fabulous diversity of outstanding wildlife passing through on migration and feeding throughout the rich and sheltered waters of Falmouth Bay.
+- 38 Risso’s Dolphins, +- 27 Bottlenose Dolphins, +- 367 Common Dolphins, multiple sightings, maternal pods with tiny 10 inch calves, hunting and feeding groups, best day 9 different interactions, Harbour Porpoise, multiple sightings, very active hunting and feeding, leaping, dashing, rushing, +- 235 Gannets overhead.. best day 12 different interactions with +- 83 individuals, amazing .. joyful to see, Giant Bluefin Tuna, most days, individuals feeding and groups of various sizes, 26 Atlantic Grey Seals, best day 12 hauled out at various locations, +- 102 GREAT SHEARWATERS, +- 87 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, +- 63 BALEARIC SHEARWATERS, MANX SHEARWATERS, many many thousands, best day +- 3750, 2 LITTLE TERNS, 12 ARCTIC TERNS, 7 COMMON TERNS, 6 Sandwich Terns,12 BONXIE GREAT SKUA, 2 ARCTIC DARK PHASE, 19 Razorbills, 16 Guillemots, Gannets, lots offshore passing through and feeding, 48 Mediterranean Gulls, +- 43 Kittiwakes, 12 Fulmars, +- 47 Lesser Black Backed Gulls, 5 Peregrine Falcons, various locations, 12 Kestrels, various locations, 5 Buzzards, various locations, 2 Ospreys, 4 Ravens, 12 Egrets, 14 Herons, 7 Greenshanks, 5 Redshanks, 2 Kingfishers, Oystercatchers, Curlews, Whimbrels, Purple Sandpiper, Rock Pipits, Swallows, passing through on migration south
All in all not too shabby and if I’m allowed to say.. quite impressive really, diversity of species really being the excitement of this another special week. Looking forward to sharing lots more exciting wildlife adventures with you all.