Bottlenose dolphin sightings Jan-March 2016

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As is usual during the winter months, sightings reports are affected by weather as choppy seas make cetaceans virtually impossible to spot. This year we have noticed that on almost every day of calm weather, where the wind is a force 2 or less, we have reports come through of Bottlenose dolphins. This brings the possibility that these dolphins could be in Manx waters most of the time during the winter but are only seen when the sea is calm enough. Since 1st January until today (8th March) we have had 7 confirmed sightings of Bottlenose dolphins, 5 of these sightings contained more than 50 individual dolphins, with approx 100 dolphins seen on 3 occasions.

In most instances Bottlenose dolphins tend to follow a particular pattern in Manx waters. They typically stay close inshore along the east coast, moving at some pace and displaying lots of social behaviour such as breaching. A typical day of sightings would be a first report in the morning in the north east, maybe Ramsey or Cornaa, followed by sightings throughout the day as they make their way south. Marine Drive is a particular hot spot which is easily accessible giving people fantastic views from a good height. Due to the group size and their behaviour and close proximity to shore, they can easily be seen from the coastline. We do our best to spread the word of these dolphins in the hope that as many people as possible can enjoy seeing them. We often phone Manx Radio and we try to update our facebook page frequently with live information on their location. Watching dolphins from the coastline is a fantastic way to see them displaying natural behaviour without causing them any disturbance.

Here are some photo’s taken at sea of the pod on 6th March by James and Jack Mylchreest,. These dolphins were first seen in Laxey bay at 11:15 and were last seen at 16:00 heading round the back of the Calf. Check out the young calf in the photo’s, he is much paler than the others. Thanks to all our amazing supporters who reported to us through the website, facebook and telephone, we were able to track the progress of these dolphins. In total we approximate that there was at least 100 members of the pod including quite a few young calves and the pod was split into several smaller sub-groups.

 

 

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