Sunday, 2 December 2012

 Ist December 2012
Berry Head, Devon
Terry Lakeman reported the following off the head: 25-30 Common Dolphin, 7 Harbour Porpoise and 4 Great Northern Divers.

Breaching Common Dolphin

30th November 2012
English Channel from 6 to 30nm south of Start Point
Lots of Common Dolphins in the channel. Comming back in from fishing 30nm out we were encountering small groups of Commons all the way back to within 6nm of Start Point (and then we were losing the light). Hard to estimate but in the region 100-200 animals. Also 15 Bonxies.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

22nd November 2012
Berry Head
Gale force SSW winds, with few birds on the move, the highlights being single Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater,  Little Gull and 2 Great Skuas and 6 Common Scoter.  BUT - the cetaceans where brilliant! At least 6 Harbour Porpoise often surfing the waves and some leaping clear of the water, then a pod of 8 Bottlenose Dolphins with a medium sized calf moved south and better still two White-beaked Dolphins feeding off the end of the headland about 600m offshore initially, although they were underwater much of the time they stayed in the area for 20+minutes from 0950hrs before moving off south.
Mike Langman and MD

19th November 2012
Berry Head
4+ Common Dolphins, 2-3 Harbour Porpoise

23rd October 2012
English Channel 30nm SE of Berry Head
4 Risso's Dolphins

Sunday, 4 November 2012

2 NOVEMBER, 2012

A 13.6m juvenile Fin Whale stranded at Rope Lake Head, Purbeck, Dorset.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


Marinelife/Naturetrek Pelagic - Lyme Bay
5 White-beaked Dolphin watched feeding and bow-riding for an hour, 5 Harbour Porpoise, Sooty Shearwater, 33 European Storm-petrel, 11 Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Puffin, 2 Sanderling, 3 Razorbill, 2 probably Arctic Tern, 3 Kittiwake, 6 Fulmar, 540 Gannet, Swallow


Around 15 Bottlenose Dolphin seen off Hengistbury Head

18, 19& 23RD SEPTEMBER, 2012

Up to 7 Bottlenose Dolphin seen off Hengistbury Head

4 Common Dolphin  North of Cherbourg.
Reported by John Down

About 30 Common Dolphin  feeding North of Cherbourg.
Reported by John Down

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Lyme Bay Naturetrek/Marinelife Pelagics

White-beaked Dolphin 7, Common Dolphin 10, Harbour Porpoise 14, Basking Shark (5-6m length) 1, Balearic Shearwater, European Storm-petrel 140, Great Skua 10, Arctic Skua, Red Admiral

Basking Shark

Common Dolphin

Thursday, 23 August 2012

20TH AUGUST, 2012

Lyme Bay Naturetrek/Marinelife Pelagics
White-beaked Dolphin 5, Great Skua 5, Arctic Skua 1

16TH AUGUST, 2012

A young Sowerby's Beaked Whale has stranded alive by the first Severn Crossing! The animal was euthanized by vets at the scene as it was still maternally dependent and there was no sign of the mother anywhere. These rare beaked whales are usually found in waters over 1000m depth so this whale was very lost and would not have survived if it had been put back out to sea. MARINElife has recorded Sowerby's Beaked Whale in the Bay of Biscay on several occasions.

12TH AUGUST, 2012

12-20 Dolphin sp. off Dungeness

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sunday, 12 August 2012

9TH AUGUST, 2012

Lyme Bay Naturetrek/Marinelife Pelagics
Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise, 2 Pomarine Skuas, Balearic Shearwater, 1700 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Great Skuas

8TH AUGUST, 2012

Lyme Bay Naturetrek/Marinelife Pelagic
2 Sooty Shearwater, Ocean Sunfish and 15 White-beaked Dolphin

7TH AUGUST, 2012

4-6 Bottlenose Dolphin and 2 Harbour Porpoise off Berry Head
Reported by Mike Langman and Dave Norman

4TH AUGUST, 2012

8 Harbour Porpoise off Berry Head about 8.30am
Reported by Mike Langman

1ST AUGUST, 2012

Sooty Shearwater, West Bay

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

1st August 2012
Berry Head, Devon
Seawatch 07:00-17:00. First reasonable movement of Balearic Shearwaters this side of Lyme bay with 24 south, supporting cast: Sooty Shearwater, 653 Manx Shearwaters (also 100+ N), 2 European Storm-petrels, Pomarine Skua, 3 Bonxie, Arctic Skua, 33 Common Terns, 3 Sandwich Terns, 56 Common Scoter, 8 Puffins, 342 Gannets, 123 Kittiwakes (incl. 7 juvs, first of the year), 3 Black-headed Gulls, 4+ juv/1w Yellow-legged Gulls, Grey Seal and 3 Harbour Porpoise. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

30 JULY 2012
25nm South of Start Point, Devon
From an angling boat. Good numbers of gulls, with juvs of both Herring and Lesser Black now appearing out at sea, in with them at least 3 juv/1w Yellow-legged Gulls. Constant chumming only produced 4 European Storm-petrels, a brief visit by a Sooty Shearwater and Fulmars numbers were higher than recent trips with over 50. One Ocean Sunfish drifted past the boat but conditions were too rough to see any cetaceans.
Although a few Manx were seen further out most were within 6nm of land both when going out and returning.

Friday, 27 July 2012

25 JULY, 2012

Marinelife/Naturetrek pelagic - Lyme Bay 
Totals included 23 White-beaked Dolphin, 1 Minke Whale, 10 Harbour Porpoise, 1 Ocean Sunfish, 7 Balearic Shearwater, 2000 Manx Shearwater, 1000 Gannet, Pomarine Skua, 5 Great Skua, 5 European Storm-petrel

8 Common Dolphin 1 mile south of Lyme Regis at 13:00

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

22 JULY, 2012

Marinelife/Naturetrek pelagic - Lyme Bay 
White-beaked Dolphin 13, Harbour Porpoise 8, Common Dolphin 25, Balearic Shearwater 2, Manx Shearwater 150, Sooty Shearwater 2, Great Skua 2, Arctic Skua 2, Dunlin 15, Common Scoter 26

21 JULY, 2012

Naturetrek/Marinelife pelagic (James Phillips), Lyme Bay 09:00-18:00
White-beaked Dolphin 4 (bow-riding for an hour), Harbour Porpoise 9, a breaching Thresher Shark, European Storm-petrel 4, Manx Shearwater 354, Common Scoter 22

20 JULY, 2012

Naturetrek/Marinelife pelagic (Martin Gillingham  & Tom Brereton), Weymouth 17:00-20:00
Balearic Shearwater 3, Manx Shearwater 300, Common Scoter 26, Common Tern 20, Sandwich Tern 2

MARCH, 2012

Frequent sightings of Bottlenose Dolphin in Poole Bay this year by SailTime.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

23 July 2012
30nm south of Start Point, Devon
Angling boat skipper Rob Dart  reported 2 Balearic Shearwaters feeding around the boat and 2-3 Minke Whales in the same area.

20 July 2013
30nm south of Start Point
From an angling boat. Minke Whale, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 12 European Storm-petrels, 40+ Lesser black-backed Gulls, 10+ great Black-backed Gulls, 5 Herring Gulls, 25 Fulmar, Arctic Skua

European Storm-petrel

Thursday, 19 July 2012

18 JULY 2012
Western Lyme Bay
Still very few Balearic Shearwaters filtering through to headlands such as Berry head, Start Point and Prawle Point, with no counts even into double figures yet, although good numbers of Manx Shearwaters.

17 JULY 2012
English Channel 20nm south of Start Point
Out on angling boat, in between fishing constant chumming pulled up 40+ European Storm-petrels (but still no Wilson's!), otherwise nice sub-adult Pom and Arctic Skuas (both presumed third-summer type - see pics). Also 5 Harbour Porpoise that strangely came around the boat (usually far more timid), but always disappeared when camera was to hand!
Size comparison - Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pomarine Skua & Kittiwake

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

3rd JULY 2012
Berry Head, Devon
Seawatching 09:15-14:15. Steady trickle of Manx reaching c400, but no Balearics, 3 Arctic Skua (two went into Torbay), 1 Pomarine Skua (sub-ad type), 1 Bonxie and 2 Puffins.
One Harbour Porpoise off the headland, while fishermen reported a pod of dolphins heading south earlier. The highlight was a couple of huge splashes way-out of a breaching animal, on the third time I managed to get on the beast which revealed itself as a really large Thresher Shark coming right out of the water! Seen one before here but not of this size.

Monday, 2 July 2012

2nd JULY 2012
Start Point, Devon
Seawatch 07:00-13:00: Great Shearwater (SW at 10:41, my earliest yet off Devon), 3305 Manx Shearwater (but surprisingly no balearics yet!),  4 Puffins, 6 European Storm-petrels, 20 Common Scoter. 2 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Arctic Skuas. The usuall group of Bottlenose Dolphins headed SW close inshore at 09:00.

Monday, 25 June 2012

20TH JUNE, 2012

8-10 Bottlenose Dolphin off West Bay. 8.30am, 600m offshore by Dave Sales

13TH MAY, 2012

Minke Whale 22nm south east of Seaton. Sighting by John Wallington

Saturday, 23 June 2012


Laurent Thebault and French colleagues have noted a large arrival of globally endangered Balearic Shearwaters in recent days into NW European waters.

On 15th June 650 were counted in the Bay of St Brieuc off the north coast of Brittany.

On the 20th June, more than 3000 were counted off the Brittany coastline including 1000 off Finistere, north west Brittany and 2100 in the Bay of Mont St Michel, located at the base of the Cherbourg Peninsula.

The counts show that a high proportion of the world's population of this globally endangered seabird are now present in Channel waters - a pattern of northward spread to moult and feed which has been increasingly apparent in recent years. This trend has been linked to climate change and changes in the distribution of key prey sources such as Anchovy and other shoaling pelagic fish.

As yet few have been recorded in British waters (Russel Wynn pers. comm.), though a large arrival is possible over the next fortnight.

MARINElife has an ongoing project to monitor this seabird so that measures can be put in place to safeguard their future.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

18TH JUNE, 2012

14 Balearic Shearwater off of Ile d’Ouessant.
By Peter Howlett and James McCarthy on the MARINElife Brittany Ferries ‘Cotentin’ Poole‐Santander monthly survey.

17TH JUNE, 2012

A sub-adult Black-browed Albatross was sighted 30 miles south west of Portland by Josh Simmonds of 'Fish On' out of Weymouth.

The species is a resident of the southern hemisphere and is a rare, but occasional visitor to UK waters. There have only been 22 accepted records in Britain and Ireland between 1950 - 2007.

This particular bird spent 1.5 hours around the fishing boat 'Fish On' and can be seen amongst the Fulmars in one of these images.

Please let us know if you see it again.

16TH JUNE, 2012

3 Balearic Shearwater off of Ile d’Ouessant.
By Peter Howlett and James McCarthy on the MARINElife Brittany Ferries ‘Cotentin’ Poole‐Santander monthly survey.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

9TH JUNE, 2012

8-10 Bottlenose Dolphin heading east 500-600m offshore at 11.15 being followed by a yacht. No evidence of disturbance by the boat.

8TH JUNE, 2012

around 5 Bottlenose Dolphin approximately 300m offshore heading slowly southwest at approximately 08.45
Reported by Philips Chambers, Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve, South Devon

Monday, 7 May 2012

1ST MAY, 2012

Seal Sp. 100m off Burton Bradstock beach
Reported by Ivor Bending

Sunday, 29 April 2012

23RD APRIL, 2012

2 Risso's Dolphin north of Roscoff/west of Guernsey.

21ST APRIL, 2012

c20 unidentified Dolphin Sp. in association with feeding Gannets south of Lulworth, near the Shambles.
Both recorded from the Contentin, Marinelife Poole-Santander Survey by Adrian Shephard and Philip Dutt

Saturday, 14 April 2012

7TH, APRIL 2012

Basking Shark 200 yards off Swanage.
Sighting by skipper Tom Greasty of Swanage Sea Fishing

5-10 White-beaked Dolphin and Manx Shearweater 20 miles south of Seaton.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

26TH MARCH, 2012

2 probable pods of Dolphin seen near St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent

Thursday, 15 March 2012

New Review Concludes Seabird Numbers Are Still Falling

A new study published by Bird Conservation International warns that the status of many of the world's seabirds has continued to deteriorate, with almost half of the world's populations known or suspected to be in decline. This is more than any other group of birds.

5% of seabirds are critically endangered, including the Balearic Shearwater, which Marinelife have been studying in Lyme Bay.

The albatross family, which has some of its most important breeding colonies on UK overseas territories, is also of particular concern.

Birdlife International

11TH MARCH, 2012

At least 8 Bottlenose Dolphin (including 2 juveniles) swam east past Ferring.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

9TH MARCH, 2012

2 Bottlenose Dolphin heading west off Hayling seafront

Saturday, 3 March 2012


Cefas Celtic sea survey encounters ~200 Common Dolphin
See blog with video

Monday, 27 February 2012

26 February 2012
30nm S of Start Point Devon
Yesterday out working on a fishing, 3 'dark phase' Fulmars in with the usual 'light phase' birds. Excellent neutral light conditions allowed these comparison shots (see below) of 'dark' phase with 'light phase". Although the scale of darkness is a gradient this would be a dark as opposed to a double dark. From seawatching experience I usually find Feb is the best month for them and they're out there! Also a group of Common Dolphins and 2 Bonxies.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

28TH JANUARY, 2012

5 Probable Bottlenose Dolphin a mile off West Bay. 2 Peregrine Falcon.
Reported by Horatio Morpurgo

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

10th January 2012
30nm south of Start Point
Around angling boat, 15 Great Skuas, one double-dark Fulmar (in with 20+ normal light phase).

Sunday, 8 January 2012


A blue shark was found washed up on the beach at Burton Bradstock.