Isles of Scilly Survey Report - 25th October 2014

4th Nov 2014

Summary of Sightings

Our total for the day was 16 sightings, including 4 sightings from St Mary’s.

Species Number Sighted
Common Dolphins 22
Minke Whale 1
Harbour Porpoise 21
Grey Seal 1


The weather was looking reasonable with a forecast of 10-15k SW 1-2m swell, considerably better than the high winds of the previous Saturday which forced a reschedule. We set out into a Sea state 3 with the outward leg into the wind - we saw a Minke Whale not long after leaving and Common Dolphins mid-way across. We then had two more Common Dolphin sightings on the approach to the Scilly's.

While on the island of St Mary’s we had three sightings of Harbour Porpoise just offshore and a single Grey Seal.

After only a short stay on the island we re-boarded for the return journey of approx 2hr 40mins, usually downwind towards Penzance. We had a sighting of two Common Dolphins an hour into the survey which was followed by six Common Dolphins, and shortly after another eight appeared close to the ship.

As we approached the Cornish coastline we saw Gannets diving and below them ten Harbour Porpoise were feeding.  This enabled the team to get a good view of these small cetaceans that are often difficult to see as they break the surface so briefly. Two more Harbour Porpoise were seen shortly after, followed by two more before we reached Penzance.

As always, a massive thank you to the ORCA survey team and to the crew of the Scillonian for allowing us to survey.