As the second Sea Watch volunteer period finishes the volunteers were treated to 2 spectacular final surveys. Last Monday on Dunbar Castle II we saw 60 bottlenose dolphins in total- it was the first time we had seen so many dolphins in New Quay on one survey! As well as this, we had a great surprise when we saw a Sunfish, the first sighting of the season. As you can see in the pictures below, a Sunfish can be recognized by its flattened body shape and two dorsal and anal fins, which often make it as long as it is tall. We first noticed the fish by the tall dorsal fin coming out of the water and flapping. This individual was a small fish, only about 40 cm long, but some can reach 3m in length and can weigh 2000 kg!
Our amazing week continued when, on Wednesday, we were very lucky to see two Minke Whales (one adult and one juvenile) during our boat survey up in Anglesey. This sighting is quite exceptional because their presence is not normally recorded in this area. Adult Minke Whales can reach 8 meters long and can be identified by a tall and sickled-shaped dorsal fin situated two-thirds along the back. This species can be also recognised by a diagonal white band found on each of its pectoral fins; unfortunately we were not close enough to see these marks, but we thoroughly enjoyed the rare sight anyway.
Sea Watch held a charity pub quiz and raffle in our local pub The Dolau on Thursday night, which was a real success. We were very happy to raise £90 to support our research and would like to thank everyone who participated in this accomplishment.
In the end our volunteers had a great last week at Sea Watch, and although we are sad to see them go, we are equally happy to welcome 3 new volunteers for the next period! Hopefully we will still be lucky with all our amazing sightings :-)
The Sea Watch Team