Friday, 9 May 2014

RISSO'S Lifer on patch!! (8th May)

A pod of Risso's Dolphins where reported and filmed on the 7th whilst breaching through Falmouth Bay but since I'd just come out of an exam, I got the news fairly late and didn't go out patching until the next day.  I had yet another exam in the morning but the afternoon off so I decided to leave my phone at home just in case any gripping news came through.  Thankfully it was a good decision as the dreaded text message I got from Dan on my return, concerning a White-billed Diver that he'd seen flying past Pendennis Point, would have been enough to throw my concentration right off!

I tried not to act all that gripped off but still headed out to Pennance Point with him just in case it had pitched down on the sea at Maenporth.  No luck unsurprisingly but I did see 2 Great Northern Divers (including a stunning sum plum individual).  Out of nowhere, I suddenly picked up on a pod of dolphins as they swam along the shoreline below the coastal footpath.  On raising my bins and calling them out to Dan, we soon new exactly what they were.  They were 3+ RISSO'S DOLPHINS!!!  A patch cetacean mega, very likely some of yesterday's individuals!!  They gave good views for a short while, showing their diagnostic long hooked dorsal fin, blunt forehead and scarred sides. Occasionally one would come far enough out of the water to see the pale blueish/grey flanks and before diving one tipped its tail upwards showing the swept-back pointed flukes. They were an awesome lifer!!!

As they left I pointed my little digital compact camera in their direction and fired off some random shots, to my utter surprise once reviewing my pics, I actually managed to capture the diagnostic dorsal fin shape on one individual.

Risso's Dolphin, a rubbish record shot but still showing the diagnostic dorsal fin shape

Other bits and pieces included Ravens, Swallows, House Martins, Swifts, Stonechats and singing Whitethroats.

A final decision to do some seawatching from Pennance Point was not as eventful as I had hoped but still managed totals of 87 Manx Shearwater, 3+ Kittiwakes and 6 Sandwich Terns.

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