Sunday, 29 September 2013

Seal Monitoring with the AK team (25th September)

I find it amazing that one moment I can be learning about GIS and RS at uni and the next I’m heading out into the Carrick Roads monitoring seals and seabirds!  In short, it’s a fun life!

The seal monitoring group (me included) headed out across the ria from Falmouth Docks making a beeline for St Anthony Head were we located or first Grey Seals.  Not only were a female and bull male guarding the cove but we also saw a newly born pup with them, the first we have seen this year!  After getting the necessary pictures for later cross identification, we moved east along the coastline hugging the bays.  We encountered a further 3 Grey Seals and whilst the rest of the team enjoyed watching and recording their behaviour I diverted my eyes out to sea instead.

female Grey Seal

with her pup

Despite remaining close inshore (the ideal location for hunting and basking Grey Seals) I still managed to pick up on a couple flypast shearwaters, four of which went past unidentified.  Despite the majority remaining relatively distant and the added difficulty of steadying myself on a small swaying boat, I still managed to treat myself to 2 Balearic Shearwaters which passed westwards considerably closer to the boat, making them thankfully more easily IDable.


Commoner species included 2-4 Ravens, 2 Peregrines (including a second cy bird), only 3-4 Gannets, a dozen or so Mediterranean Gulls1 Guillemot and 2 1st win Common Terns at Towan Beach.  On entering the bay, I located a rather distant bird perched high on the water along with 4 Razorbill.  It turned out to be a stunning juvenile Little Gull, a welcome Cornish tick!

juv. Little Gull at Towan Beach

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