Tag: North Sea pelagic

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the south ;-) NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 20/07/18

by on Jul.21, 2018, under North Sea

With a glassy calm river outside the marina, and a great forecast for the evening (after the rain had passed a couple of hour earlier), we had a dilemma.  Allan had seen a group of White-beaked Dolphins in the deep south (or County Durham as its residents call it…) a couple of hours earlier so were we going to change our sailing plan that has served us well for over 20 years and turn right as we passed through the Tyne Piers?

We hadn’t even left the river when a Harbour Porpoise appeared and by then we’d already decided to ‘head south for a bit and turn north if we don’t find anything’.  Ten minutes later I was scanning directly ahead and spotted a couple of fins…

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White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,Northumberland,pelagic,North Sea,Northumberland pelagic,dolphin spotting Northumberland,whale watching Northumberland,North Sea pelagic,Northern Experience Pelagics,Northern Experience Wildlife Tours,sunset,sunset cruise

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All of our 4hr evening pelagics are fully booked now but we’ve still got a few spaces on our groundbreaking Northumberland Ultimate Pelagic sailings on August 29th, September 15th and September 22nd.  Those are filling up too, so give us a call on 01670 827465 to book your place 🙂

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Quick start :-) NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 18/07/18

by on Jul.19, 2018, under North Sea, White-beaked Dolphin

There are days when we search for a long time before finding the wildlife that we’re searching for, there are days when despite our best efforts it eludes us, and then there was last night…

Conditions were looking good with cloud cover and gentle swell so exactly what we’d hope for when we’re searching for dolphins.  We’re doing cetacean surveys on all of our pelagic trips this year and Caroline and Genine had only just started recording the environmental conditions, as we settled on to a steady course, when Tim spotted dolphins ahead of the boat 🙂  This first group of 5 White-beaked Dolphins buzzed the boat a couple of times but were clearly on a mission and quickly departed to the south.  We resumed our original course and passed by Kittiwakes, Gannets and Guillemots before eventually turning back south as the Sun sank lower in the sky towards a slight break in the cloud.  The swell was building, and the gloom of dusk was taking hold when our second group of White-beaked Dolphins for the evening appeared, and these ones were in a much more playful mood 🙂

All of our 4hr evening sailings apart from August 8th are full and our 10hr Northumberland Ultimate Pelagic on August 14th has sold out too.  We’ve got a few spaces on our 10hr sailings on August 29th, September 15th and September 22nd so give us a call on 01670 827465 to book your place.  We only have limited availability on our sailings so booking early is always the best option to make sure you get a place!

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,Northumberland,pelagic,North Sea,Northumberland pelagic,dolphin spotting Northumberland,whale watching Northumberland,North Sea pelagic,Northern Experience Pelagics,Northern Experience Wildlife Tours,sunset,sunset cruise

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A series of spectacular sunsets; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagics 04/07, 06/07 and 13/07/18

by on Jul.17, 2018, under North Sea

Some of our North Sea pelagic trips encounter whales and dolphins and lots of birds…and some don’t.  Sometimes the most jaw-dropping thing isn’t the wildlife, but something equally unpredictable…

As well as whales, dolphins and seabirds ur 4hr North Sea pelagics put us in just thr right place for some spectacular sunsets

As well as whales, dolphins and seabirds ur 4hr North Sea pelagics put us in just thr right place for some spectacular sunsets

As well as whales, dolphins and seabirds ur 4hr North Sea pelagics put us in just thr right place for some spectacular sunsets

As well as whales, dolphins and seabirds ur 4hr North Sea pelagics put us in just thr right place for some spectacular sunsets

As well as whales, dolphins and seabirds ur 4hr North Sea pelagics put us in just thr right place for some spectacular sunsets

Our 4hr evening sailings on 1st and 8th August still have a very limited number of spaces available, as do our 10hr Northumberland Ultimate Pelagic sailings on August 29th, September 15th and September 22nd.  Every other sailing is fully booked so give us a call on 01670 827465 to book your space before they’re all gone!

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Dolphins; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 29/06/18

by on Jul.02, 2018, under North Sea

Our second 4hr evening pelagic of 2018 came a couple of days after our first – which had been a trip with more swell than expected and only a single sighting of a Bottlenose Dolphin that didn’t hang around to be admired by all on board…

Friday’s forecast was much better though and I knew that a group of around 12 dolphins had been seen off Newbiggin mid-afternoon.  As we sailed out of the Tyne I checked my messages, and discovered that the dolphins were making their way south down the coast so we were likely to encounter them somewhere off Whitley Bay.  Eventually we had around 25-30 Bottlenose Dolphins playing around the boat, including some that were catching fish and a few small groups with very young calves 🙂

We’ve got spaces still available on our 4hr sailings each Wednesday until August 8th and on our 10hr ‘Northumberland Ultimate Pelagic‘ sailings on 15th, 19th and 22nd September.  Give us a call on 01670 827465 to book your place before they’re all filled!

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

Bottlnose Dolphins spent over an hour playing around the boat on our 4hr evening pelagic off Whitley Bay and St Mary's Island on 29/06/18

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A Whale of a time; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 12/07/13 Part 2

by on Jul.17, 2013, under Birdwatching, MInke Whale, North Sea, Northumberland

It was a chance I wasn’t going to miss; I was on the PV St Oswald, we were about to pass the SarahJFK in the River Tyne at North Shields, Sarah was on board with 10 of our clients and a late withdrawal had left a space free 🙂  The smoothest of  ship-to-ship transfers – accomplished by two excellent skippers who I would trust with my life – took place, and I was heading back out into the North Sea for another 4hr sailing 🙂

Heading back to the location of the last White-beaked Dolphin sighting I’d had during the survey, we were on the North Sea in quite remarkable conditions.  So flat that it looked like glass, Gannets, Fulmars, Manx Shearwaters, Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills were all reflected in the glassy surface.  A small group of dolphins surfaced, but only myself on the starboard side, and Jon on the back of the boat on the port side managed to see them as they were directly in front of us.  We continued our search as a spectacular sunset started to develop and then, as we headed back through the area where the dolphins had been, and it suddenly turned overcast, Ruth said “there’s something over there”.  That something was a Minke Whale, and soon everyone on board had excellent views as it surfaced and fed 🙂  Could it get any better?  Of course it could…then there were 2 together!  Away to the south, what was, probably, a 3rd Minke Whale surfaced and then the sort of magic that our summer evening North Sea pelagic trips seem to produce so often happened.  The sun broke through the clouds and I could see some interesting photographic opportunities developing…as long as the whale was going to be obliging 🙂

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Common Guillemot,Uria aalge,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,Whalewatching,Dolphin watching,Birdwatching

Minke Whale,Balaenoptera acutorostrata,North Sea,Northumberland,North Sea Pelagics,Whalewatching,Dolphin watching,Birdwatching

We’ve got a few spaces remaining on some of this year’s North Sea pelagic trips so give us a call on 01670 827465 to find out what’s available and to book your place.  You’ll get to spend time on the North Sea and all of the sightings we make on our pelagic trips are contributing to a genuinely groundbreaking research project that’s the only one providing vital information about the distribution and abundance of Northumberland’s whales, dolphins and porpoises, to the ongoing Marine Conservation Zones process.

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Jumping ship; NEWT’s North Sea Pelagic 12/07/13 Part 1

by on Jul.17, 2013, under Birdwatching, MInke Whale, North Sea, Northumberland

Our fourth evening pelagic for 2013 was last Friday, and it was looking like I wasn’t going to make it…

05:00 and the alarm cuts through my slumber.  I get out of bed, go downstairs and make coffee.  Camera equipment, cetacean survey kit (gps, rangefinder binoculars, recording forms) and food had been sorted out on Thursday evening so no rush.

06:00 I board the St Oswald for a North East Cetacean Project transect survey with Steve and Charlotte as my survey team members, and within minutes we’re sailing out of the Tyne.  Then I find out that our route for the day has changed and we’re not due back into Royal Quays until 20:00!  A quick text to Sarah ‘…we might not be back until 8!!! Can you lead the pelagic for me if I’m not back please?’ received a response that would shock anyone who knows her 😉  A quick exchange of texts and all was sorted…Sarah is very popular with our clients, and Allan and Jimmy are by some distance the most experienced pelagic boat crew in the North East so I settled, relaxed, to a day of surveying.

Small groups of White-beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises were found throughout the day, and 2 Minke Whales added some ‘bulk’ to our sightings.  By 17:00 I was texting a route, based on the last 11h of observations, for the evening pelagic to Sarah and Allan.  With the flooding tide hastening our southward journey we knew that we would be passing the SarahJFK somewhere around North Shields Fish Quay…

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A picture paints a thousand words; NEWT’s North Sea pelagic 21/06/2013

by on Jun.22, 2013, under Birdwatching, North Sea, Northumberland

Red-necked Phalarope,Phalaropus lobatus,North Sea,Northumberland,pelagic birdwatching,North Sea pelagics,whale watching,dolphin watching,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

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Life begins at 40

by on Sep.06, 2010, under Birdwatching, North Sea, Northumberland

Friday was our long-awaited pelagic to the Farne Deeps.  We’d originally planned the trip for August 12th, but the weather put paid to that 🙁  Rescheduling to September 3rd meant that four of the original participants had to withdraw because of other commitments, but we were able to fill those places and have a reserve list.  Birdwatching from a boat in the North Sea, with the possibility of cetaceans as well, is always an enjoyable way to spend a day.

When I arrived at Royal Quays just after 7.30 I was surprised to see that nine of the other eleven participants were already there; obviously eager to join Northern Experience on our ‘voyage into the unknown’.

As we left the Tyne we soon began to began to find Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins on the sea; all 3 species featuring regularly throughout the day.  Gannets, Fulmars and Kittiwakes were all seen in good numbers (Kittiwakes in particular) and we continued to head north northeast, getting further offshore from the Northumberland coast.

I was watching the depth plotter carefully as we approached the edge of the deep water and, as I stepped out of the wheelhouse, thinking that things could get very interesting quite soon, almost collapsed as Allan shouted “Dolphin!”.  Within a minute we’d got two stunning White-beaked Dolphins bow-riding.  They stayed with us for 40 minutes, and during that time there were at least another three a little distance from the boat.  I managed to get ‘a bit’ of video footage 🙂

As if all the excitement of having the dolphins around the boat wasn’t enough, Geoff Morgan spotted a Grey Phalarope (Red Phalarope for any readers in the US).  After Geoff’s initial call it was 4 mins before the bird was relocated; sitting on the sea in front of the boat as we continued along with the dolphins.  The phalarope, as well as an excellent bird to see in early September, was a milestone as it’s the 40th ‘seabird’ (defined as those covered by Peter Harrison’s excellent ‘Seabirds: an identification guide’) to be found on pelagic trips off Northumberland since the first NTBC organised trip in 1987.

As well as the birds mentioned previously we also found;

Manx Shearwater 4

Sooty Shearwater 4

Arctic Skua 4

Great Skua 9

Typically, the Manx Shearwaters and Arctic Skuas stayed well away from the boat but the Sooty Shearwaters  and Great Skuas were much more obliging 🙂

By the end of the day, nearly everyone on board had enjoyed lifers; the White-beaked Dolphins were a much sought-after species for Joanne and the result of a lot of effort 🙂  With the battalion of long lenses on the boat, there’ll be plenty of good quality images for the White-beaked Dolphin identification catalogue that forms part of the Northeast Cetacean Project.  We’ll be running at least two trips out to the Farne Deeps next year (date and cost tbc) so get in touch soon to register your interest.  With only 12 places available they’ll fill quickly.

After the 10hr marathon of the Farne Deeps, our 8hr pelagic on Saturday was just like a pleasure cruise 🙂  Again we had good numbers of Kittiwake, Gannet and Fulmar,  as well as some very obliging Sooty Shearwaters.  With some of South Tyneside’s finest on board, I was half-hoping that one of them would point his camera at the sky and randomly photograph a Cape Gannet 🙂  Sadly, it wasn’t to be.  Never mind, there’s always next week…and the week after…and next year.

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