South West Ireland
2 Pomarine skua seen during a trawl 60 miles SW of Mizen Head (South West Ireland) at 11:32 hrs; 50+ European Storm Petrel were also seen during this trawl between 12:25 and 13:15 hrs; one dark Pomarine Skua at 13:20 hrs - this bird did not have as long a tail as an adult Pomarine so it may have been a juvenile or a dark morph; 9 European Storm Petrel were seen during a second trawl 35 miles SSW from Mizen Head between 17:45 to 18:16 hrs;
1 Humpback Whale was seen 43 miles S of Mizen head at 18:20 hrs. This individual was seen head slapping and the pectoral fins were clearly seen albeit very briefly. Sea state 3-5, wind direction SW-NW.
30TH MAY 2011
South West Ireland
3 European Storm Petrel seen behind the boat whilst trawling 18 miles S of Galley Head at 07.34 hrs; One adult Pomarine Skua was also seen during this trawl at 07:49 hrs. Sea state 3-7, wind direction W-NW.
29TH MAY 2011
8 European Storm Petrel seen behind the boat whilst trawling 60 miles WNW of Trevose Head (Northern Cornwall) at 10.09 hrs.
Ireland, off Cork
1 Pomarine Skua observed 36.5 miles ESE of Power Head, near Cork. First sighted hovering about 5 metres from the Bridge, it stayed there for some time before circling the boat several times. We had fantastic views of its head, tail, upper and under wings. Sea state 3-6, wind direction SW-WSW.
28TH MAY 2011
Cornwall, Mine Head to the Celtic Deep
1 Minke Whale seen in the distance 8 miles ESE of Mine Head at 06:33 hrs; 9 Bottlenose Dolphin all came in to bow ride the ship 34 miles SE of Mine Head at 10:04 hrs.
Fantastic views were had of 21 Fin Whale seen blowing and rolling at the surface - 2 were first seen as we were approaching (6 miles from) the Celtic Deep and we continued to see groups of 2-14 Fin Whale as we entered the Celtic Deep. Also seen was one unidentified Baleen Whale which appeared on the bow but only seen very briefly.
Later that day between 18:52 and 19:38 hrs, c.57 miles NW of Newquay, Cornwall, 206 Common Dolphin were encountered, all individuals came in to bow ride the ship. 1 Minke Whale was also seen with this group of dolphins at 19:33 hrs, seen surfacing several times 50-500 metres from the bow. Sea state 3-4, wind direction predominantly SW.
27TH MAY 2011
3 Puffin (juvenile) were seen sat on the water c.100m from the boat 8 miles NE of Worms Head, Gower Peninsula at 06:25 hrs. 4 Puffin (adult) were also seen 4 miles WNW of Lundy Island between 08:42 and 09:50 hrs. One juvenile Puffin also flew past us (<10 m from the bridge) in this area at 08:40 hrs; 13 Puffin (adults) were also seen 16 miles NE of Stockholm Island between 09:03 and 09:49 hrs, we had stopped in this area during this period whilst plankton and oceanography data were being collected. Sea state 4-5, wind direction WNW-NW.
2 Common Dolphin seen at 08:48, 09:11 and 14:31 hrs approx. 9 miles SW from the northern tip of Lundy Island. These were possibly the same two individuals as we remained in close proximity to the area they were first sighted from 08:48 to 14:31; on each occassion they came in to bow ride the ship. 1 Balearic Shearwater was also seen off Lundy at 15:05 hrs.
During a transect running NW between 17:45 hrs (23 miles ESE of North Lundy) and 21:12 hrs (7 miles NE of Smalls Lighthouse) we encountered continuous groups of 5 - 28 Common Dolphin which all came in to bow ride (c.75 Common Dolphin in total), with the last group seen at 12:12. 1 Minke Whale was seen surfacing on several occassions and presumed to be feeding. Sea state/wind force 4-5, wind direction WNW - NW.
After an incredible few days of sightings, the survey team are hoping for more cetacean sightings today when they head out to the shelf edge. You can follow the survey route of R.V. Cefas Endeavour here.