This week has definitely been better for sightings than last week. We started with 2 breaching white-beaked dolphins as we departed Newcastle at the start of this week. That had followed three breaching white-beaked dolphins as we had arrived in Newcastle that morning!
The next few days were quite quiet with just a couple of harbour porpoise and an unidentified seal. We also had a slightly more unusual sighting as we departed Ijmuiden one evening… a white-beaked dolphin… Not unusual for the North Sea, but we tend to see white-beaked dolphins on the Newcastle side of the crossing!
We have however over the course of this week had one animal in the thousands and that animal is jellyfish, specifically compass jellyfish. I have been attempting to get photographs of them but due to the deck we survey from, and the angle to the water it has proved impossible (someone with better photography skills than me would have, no doubt, managed it).
We have this week seen a variety of the usual suspects when it comes to bird life; cormorants, razorbills, gannets and puffins to name a few. Many of our gannets sighted this week have been juveniles of varying stages.
To cap off the lovely sightings this week, it’s also the start of the summer holidays and we’ve had beautiful weather. We have had many more people not only visiting the ORCA centre but also joining us out on deck… and not disappearing after just a few minutes because of the wind and the rain! Many of whom this morning joined us in spotting harbour porpoises and unidentified dolphins in very almost a sea state 0!
I am handing over to Rebecca this week and I wish her and Will many more sightings over the next couple of weeks with the hope that when I return there will still be lots of marine mammals out there for me to see too.
We are just past the half way point of our 6 month Wildlife Officer season with two and a half months left so below is a total of all of our sightings so far this year!
Harbour Porpoise: 183
Unidentified small cetaceans: 45