2019-03-20 - Penzance-St Marys
This was the first Scillies survey of 2019. The very motivated team met in Penzance with a grey sky, light wind and smooth sea. The first sighting of 2 harbour porpoise occurred 7 minutes after going on effort and then a small pod of common dolphins were observed quite close by. As we travelled along the Cornish coast there were further sightings of harbour porpoise and common dolphins. From Lands End things settled down with only 2 more sightings of common dolphins. We arrived in St Marys with some sun breaking through. A leisurely stroll around the island followed a welcome coffee break.
The return leg began in similar fashion with more sightings of harbour porpoise and common dolphins as we crossed open water towards Lands End. A single Grey seal was also observed swimming in mid channel. As we neared the coast the bird activity increased and this cued us to more common dolphin sightings. We were then treated to more sightings of common dolphins and harbour porpoise but the icing on the cake was the lone bottlenose dolphin breaching as we came off effort. (This one maybe a juvenile that has appeared at Penzance and Newquay for the past 2 years and is known locally in Penzance as “Pierre” or in Newquay as “Splashy”). Overall a brilliant start to the season and one of those days when you wish you could be on the water in those excellent conditions for ever. We were also treated to several Puffin sightings during the crossings. Once again, many thanks to Captain Pete and First Mate Andy for making us so very welcome on the bridge.
29 Sightings totalling 127 animals:
Bottlenose dolphin x1
Harbour porpoise x20
Common dolphin x104
Grey seal x2
Great Northern diver, manx shearwater, fulmar, kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot, puffin and gannet.
Survey team members
Mike Taylor, Gus Robin, Karen Griffin