After a long cold winter and a record-breaking cold spring, the UK basked in sunshine and enjoyed one of the warmest summers on record; in fact it was the ninth warmest since records began in 1910. Many more people were out enjoying the sunshine all around the UK, so there were many more eyes on the sea to spot any whales and dolphins around our coasts. In fact we have had sightings from kayaks and canoes, catamarans and cliffs!
One of the highlights reported to us over the summer was a pod of Risso’s dolphins spotted off Bardsey Island in July. Justine Curgenven was kayaking across a flat calm, almost mirror like ocean, on a balmy sunny day, when the Risso’s dolphins crossed in front, and underneath, her kayak! She took some amazing footage, which can be seen in our blog of this amazing sighting.
Bottlenose dolphins were by far the species most regularly reported to us over the summer. Sightings ranged from the Isle of Jura in Scotland to Plymouth in the south of England. Many of the pods included juvenile animals, bow-riding next to boats alongside the adults.
We also received two separate sightings of solitary bottlenose dolphins at the mouth of the River Tamar in the Mayflower Marina, the other near Drake’s Island. From the photos that were provided with the sightings we were able to identify the individual as Georges II, which is a dolphin that is often spotted in the area.
Summer also saw a number of Orca sightings off the coast of Scotland, usually travelling in family groups, including one group that travelled alongside a boat for 15 minutes from Troop Head to Fraserburgh.
Harbour porpoises, common dolphins and minke whales have also been spotted around the UK, a couple of harbour porpoises were seen alongside a minke whale that was seen offshore from Embleton Bay, Northumberland.
There is so much to see out there so KEEP SPOTTING and sending us your sightings, photos and videos. Here’s how to tell us what you see