Tag: White-beaked Dolphin

Out of the gloom; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 13/07/2015

by on Jul.17, 2015, under North Sea

Our fourth North Sea Pelagic for 2015 had a reasonable weather forecast – overcast, but should have been otherwise ok…

Quite good visibility meant we were soon watching Manx Shearwater, Kittiwake, Gannet, Fulmar, Guillemot, Puffin and Razorbill…then the rain started.  Sailing through what appeared to be low, and very wet, cloud we came out of the other side of it and continued north.  Then ahead of us, we could see weather that we really didn’t want to be sailing into.  We decided to turn back south and have a slow journey close inshore as the almost obligatory flock of Common Scoter flew by.  I suggested an area to Allan that I thought would hold White-beaked Dolphins towards dusk…and there they were 🙂

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea,North Sea Pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching England

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea,North Sea Pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching England

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea,North Sea Pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching England

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Calm; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 29/06/2013

by on Jul.17, 2015, under North Sea

Our 2015 North Sea Pelagic season got underway at the end of June, with Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Gannets galore, Guillemots, Razorbills and plenty of Puffins on the sea and a dense flock of Common Scoter towards the end of the evening.  Despite sightings of Bottlenose Dolphin, White-beaked Dolphin and Minke Whale in the days leading up to the sailing, they weren’t hanging around any of their usual haunts.  Perhaps our second evening pelagic of 2015 would bring better luck…

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Slugs and snails and dolphin tails; Druridge Bay Safari 25/06/2015

by on Jun.26, 2015, under Bamburgh Castle, Druridge Bay, Northumberland

As I drove to Newton to collect Sue and Julian, the first few raindrops hit the windscreen of the car.  My optimism that the rain would soon pass over was drenched, literally, by a torrential downpour that the windscreen wipers couldn’t cope with and which sounded like I was in a tin can being pelted with stones 🙁  We set off for Bamburgh, completely surrounded by storms and found a flock of Common Scoter and Eider on the sea, and a miserable looking Puffin on the beach.  The rainfall left the air warm and humid, so as the afternoon passed into evening paths were covered in slugs and snailsCommon Toad and Common Frog crossed our path too, and the air was alive with small insects – and a good handful of Common Pipistrelles hunting them.  A Fox trotted along the edge of Cresswell Pond, where Avocets and Black-Tailed Godwit were roosting and feeding.  A male Marsh Harrier flew by, causing consternation amongst the Swallows, and Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser both looked elegant as Mute Swans and Shelduck watched carefully over their young.  A Whitethroat sang from rank vegetation just a few metres away from us, and dusk brought Swallows, Sand Martins and Starlings to roost.

The day will remain in the memory for years to come though, as a pod of dolphins put on a remarkable display.  We’d just finished our picnic and I decided to have one last scan before heading up the coast.  Top Tip – always have ‘one last scan’ 🙂  Close inshore I saw a small group of dolphins breaking the surface. White-beaked Dolphin should be here in a few days time, but these were big, dark animals and we soon confirmed that they were Bottlenose Dolphin.  Now, these are big impressive animals, and we spent nearly 40mins watching at least 12 of them as they slowly travelled north.  They weren’t just travelling though; synchronous breaching, tail-slapping, lob-tailing, spy-hopping, flipper waving and fighting continued as they passed by our viewpoint and eventually out of sight away to the north.  I’ve spent a lot of time watching dolphins, both with clients and when carrying out offshore surveys, but I’ve never seen a group of dolphins so animated as these were.  Wonder if they’ll be there for this evening’s pelagic trip 🙂

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Curtain call; NEWT’s North Sea pelagic 06/08/2014

by on Aug.07, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

Our last couple of evening pelagics each year tend to finish in near darkness as we arrive back at Royal Quays.  We have such long daylight hours during the middle of the summer up here, that it comes as a bit of a shock when it starts getting dark by 10pm 🙂  Yesterday was our final evening pelagic for this year, and conditions weren’t as good as they’d beeen on most of the previous sailings; a reasonable amount of swell, choppy surface and occasional whitecaps don’t make for easy observation.  We knew where both White-beaked and Bottlenose Dolphins had been seen on Tuesday though, so that would give us a fighting chance.  Guillemots were rising and falling with the swell, Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were following us throughout the evening and Gannets soared majestically on the breeze.  A Grey Seal was bottling as we sailed by and, just off Lynemouth, we began making our way south.  Then a call from Hector “Martin, over there!”.  Three White-beaked Dolphins, then five 🙂  With a very small calf among them, this was another opportunity to study how their behaviour differs from dolphins without young calves, and our observations will be included in the next report of our White-beaked Dolphin research off Northumberland, and add more to the collective knowledge about these beautiful animals 🙂

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watching North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watching North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

Lynemouth,White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watching North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

That may be the end of our evening pelagics for 2014, but we’ve still got a few spaces on our Farne Deeps trips, which are our best trips for encountering White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals, on 12th and 28th August from Royal Quays, and our birdwatching-focused trips from Royal Quays on 23rd August, 6th September and 13th September.  Our Whale and Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses on 30th August is an excellent introduction to offshore wildlife for all the family too 🙂  Give us a call on 01670 827465 for more details, or have a look at our North Sea pelagic page.

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The pot of (White-beaked) gold at the end of the rainbow; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 01/08/2014

by on Aug.07, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

Our penultimate evening pelagic had near perfect conditions, calm seas, good visibility – and recent sightings of White-beaked Dolphins in our regular search area…

Puffins, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Gannets and Fulmars were expected, but we had a real surprise in the shape of three Harbour Porpoises.  In proper porpoise style they didn’t approach the boat, but they didn’t beat a hasty retreat either so everyone managed to see them.   We began making our way back south, closer to the shore, but there was still no sign of any dolphins.  An interesting sunset over St Mary’s generated a rainbow over the mouth of the Tyne and a remarkable ethereal atmosphere with the quite flat water.

St Mary's Island,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watchign North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

Tynemouth,North Tyneside,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watchign North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

Tynemouth,North Tyneside,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watchign North Sea,whale watching Northumberland

Then, as we approached the mouth of the river, Allan spotted something splashing between the piers.  Might be Harbour Porpoise?  Might be Sea Trout or Salmon?  No, neither of those, as two White-beaked Dolphins breached at the entrance to the Tyne and then swam across in front of us and back again before heading offshore, as daylight faded to black 🙂

 

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Breathtaking; Bespoke Druridge Bay safari 05/08/2014

by on Aug.07, 2014, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland

I know I may go on a bit about how wonderful Northumberland is but, even after more than 20 years living here, there are days when even I find it hard to believe just how good it can be…

I collected Colin and Hazel from the hills above Budle Bay and we headed south along the coast for an afternoon and evening around Druridge Bay.  Colin was keen to improve his handling of his new dSLR, and they were also quite keen on searching for Otters.  The afternoon started with some top quality birdwatching; Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Scaup, Common Snipe and Dunlin are all nice, but the standout bird was the Stilt Sandpiper that has been enjoying a tour of Cresswell and Druridge Pools over the last week.  Arriving at our picnic spot just south of Cresswell, I mentioned that, with such good visibility and relatively calm seas, whales and dolphins are always a possibility, perhaps tempting fate to deal us a poor hand… A few minutes later I was scanning the sea out towards the horizon when I saw a splash.  I raised my binoculars, to check that it wasn’t a distant boat, and there was another splash, and another, and another, then four together 🙂  As the synchronous breaching continued I trained the ‘scope on the area where the dolphins were, and was surprised to see that they were Bottlenose Dolphins.  In early August, the default dolphin for the Druridge Bay coast is White-beaked Dolphin, and that’s the species we’ve been finding on our recent pelagic trips, but this has been an extraordinary year so I shouldn’t be too surprised to have found myself showing Bottlenose Dolphins to our clients too 🙂

The evening continued with some very obliging birds in front of Colin’s camera; Common Snipe, Dunlin, Linnet, a flock of Starlings taking a bath and an assortment of wagtails then, as light levels began to fall, we switched our attention to the patient waiting game of looking for Otters,as flock after flock of Starlings flew towards their evening roost.  Soon, we were watching the sleek, sinuous shape of an Otter as it hunted and fed.  It passed out of sight for a few minutes, only to reappear and surface just in front of a second Otter!  A third one was slightly further way from us and eventually we watched as one of them came straight towards us before disappearing behind the reeds.

The day isn’t over ’til it’s over though, and Northumberland’s wildlife provided one last moment of magic as a Tawny Owl was perched on the road sign outside Colin and Hazel’s holiday let at The Ducket 🙂

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A game of two halves; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 25/07/2014

by on Aug.05, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

One of the oddest pelagics in 17 years of organising them.  Started with absolutely mirror-calm sea, bringing some of the best photographic opportunites with Fulmar, Kittiwake and Lesser Black-backed Gull that I’ve ever encountered, progressed through sightings of adult and calf White-beaked Dolphin, adult and calf Minke Whale and Harbour Porpoise, then on to flocks of Common Scoter appearing out of the descending mist…and finished with visibility down to less than 50m!

Lesser Black-backed Gull,Larus fuscus graellsii,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,pelagic birdwatching

Black-legged Kittiwake,Rissa tridactyla,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,pelagic birdwatching

Northern Fulmar,Fulmarus glacialis,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,pelagic birdwatching

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland

Minke Whale,Balaenoptera acutorostrata,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,whale watching North Sea,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea,dolphin watching Northumberland

Atlantic Puffin,Fratercula arctica,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,palgic birdwatching

Common Scoter,Melanitta nigra,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea pelagics,pelagic birdwatching North Sea,pelagic birdwatching Northumberland

We’ve still got a few spaces on our Farne Deeps trips, which are our best trips for encountering White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals, on 12th and 28th August from Royal Quays, and our birdwatching-focused trips from Royal Quays on 23rd August, 6th September and 13th September.  Our Whale and Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses on 30th August is an excellent introduction to offshore wildlife for all the family too 🙂  Give us a call on 01670 827465 for more details, or have a look at our North Sea pelagic page.

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In the shadow of St Mary’s; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 11/07/2014

by on Aug.05, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

Our second evening pelagic of the week produced more White-beaked Dolphins than Monday’s sailing, and a spectacular sunset over St Mary’s Island.

 

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North sea,North Sea pelagics

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North sea,North Sea pelagics

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North sea,North Sea pelagics

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North sea,North Sea pelagics

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North sea,North Sea pelagics

We’ve still got a few spaces on our Farne Deeps trips, which are our best trips for encountering White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals, on 12th and 28th August from Royal Quays, and our birdwatching-focused trips from Royal Quays on 23rd August, 6th September and 13th September.  Our Whale and Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses on 30th August is an excellent introduction to offshore wildlife for all the family too 🙂  Give us a call on 01670 827465 for more details, or have a look at our North Sea pelagic page.

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White-beaked Dolphins; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 07/07/2014

by on Aug.05, 2014, under North Sea, Northumberland

The first of ten fully booked 4hr evening pelagic trips produced excellent close views as our target species for the evening proved very obliging and spent some time bow-riding the JFK Two 🙂

Black-legged Kittiwake [Rissa tridactyla],North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,White-beaked Dolphin

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,dolphin watching North Sea

sunset,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberlan,dolphin watching North Sea

We’ve still got a few spaces on our Farne Deeps trips, which are our best trips for encountering White-beaked Dolphin and other marine mammals, on 12th and 28th August from Royal Quays, and our birdwatching-focused trips from Royal Quays on 23rd August, 6th September and 13th September.  Our Whale and Dolphin Cruise from Seahouses on 30th August is an excellent introduction to offshore wildlife for all the family too 🙂  Give us a call on 01670 827465 for more details, or have a look at our North Sea pelagic page.

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Whales and Dolphins; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 31/08/13

by on Sep.03, 2013, under Birdwatching, Grey Seal, MInke Whale, North Sea, Northumberland, White-beaked Dolphin

Our annual Whale and Dolphin Cruise on Glad Tidings V is one of the highlights of our North Sea Pelagic programme.  With over 40 people booked on to this year’s sailing, we were going to need to be organised and efficient getting everyone on to the boat – luckily I’m married to Sarah, so organisation and efficiency just seem to happen to me 🙂

Saturday was also the first day of our Whales, Waders and Wildfowl holiday, so I collected Bill from The Swan and we drove north, pausing in Amble to collect Ruth as we passed through.  Warm, sunny, windy and with plenty of whitecaps offshore were conditions that could make finding cetaceans tricky.  As we sailed south we came across a raft of Gannets, Sooty and Manx Shearwaters and plenty of Grey Seals ‘bottling’ amongst them.  There wasn’t any sort of feeding activity of note though, but eventually we managed brief views of a small group of Harbour Porpoise nearby.  Continuing on our way, there was a sighting of Minke Whale from the front of the boat…just as I watched a White-beaked Dolphin breaching away to the east 🙂  Eventually we had seven or eight dolphins around the boat, allowing everyone on board the opportunity to enjoy close views of our favourite cetacean.  As we made our way slowly back towards Seahouses, two more Minke Whales appeared and we’d struck gold, silver and bronze in one trip 🙂

Northern Gannet,Morus bassanus,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,whale watching, dolphin watching,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland

Northern Gannet,Morus bassanus,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,whale watching, dolphin watching,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland

Grey Seal,Halichoerus grypus,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,whale watching, dolphin watching,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,whale watching, dolphin watching,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,whale watching, dolphin watching,whale watching Northumberland,dolphin watching Northumberland

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