Spring seemed to take a while to arrive this year as winter kept an icy grip for much longer than normal. Once the warmer weather arrived the wildlife around the UK jumped into action including beneath the waves. As the water temperature rises with the changing of the season and more light penetrates its depths, Spring blooms of plankton make the sea an extremely productive place at this time of year.
Common dolphins have been seen a number of times, particularly during May as they bow ride boats in the Celtic Sea. John Hepburn had a group of 12 common dolphins taking it in turns to bow ride alongside his boat for 20 minutes and took these amazing photographs!
The other frequent visitor during Spring was the harbour porpoise with sightings sent in from all around the UK ranging from Seaford in East Sussex to Scarborough. There have been fewer bottlenose dolphin sightings reported during the Spring, however a group of 8 were seen from Sanaigmore Bay, on the Isle of Islay, in early April.
As I write this update a report of orcas have been spotted off Bardsey Island, North Wales, and photographed for the first time ever! We have been conducting research into whale and dolphin populations around the island since 1999, and we think these are members of the endangered West Coast Community (n=9), and that they appear to do a huge loop around Ireland and through the Irish Sea at the end of May/early June every year. The Bardsey Bird and Field Observatory took this grainy shot of the orcas in the distance.
There is so much to see out there so KEEP SPOTTING and sending us your sightings, photos and videos. Here’s how to tell us what you see