Large numbers of Common Dolphins sighted during the last Isles of Scilly survey

23rd Oct 2013

Saturday 19th October - Isles of Scilly Survey Report


Any end of season survey always seems special and this one didn't let us down.
As soon as we set sail in a force 4+ with many whitecaps making viewing difficult we were instantly aware of the many Gannets in the area and this generally meant dolphins present too.

Fifteen minutes into the survey we had our first view of 8 Common Dolphins as they headed towards the ship and crossed the bow. Soon after we saw 2 more Common Dolphins close to the ship and it was clear that this was not to be our last - before reaching the islands we were treated to nine further amazing sightings of Common Dolphins and a small group of breaching Harbour Porpoise.

After a short stop on the island of St Mary's we set off for the rector sailing to Penzance in a similar sea state and were treated to 4 more fantastic sightings of common dolphins heading towards the ship, often to bow ride. We were seeing a lot of mammals and we could see large numbers of Gannets feeding in the distance so were sure that we would see a lot of dolphins beneath them.

There appears to be large numbers of Common Dolphin in the area right now and I wonder how many dolphins we would have seen in a zero sea state? We had some memorable sightings and a wonderful end to the season.

Massive thanks to the Crew of the Scillonian for making us feel welcome and allowing us to survey.

Team Leader: Paul Burley, Claire Elias and John Hepburn