'Seabirds and marine mammals off SW Galicia, all year-round. Didactic, exciting experience at the best value!'

Friday, March 30, 2012

24 of march. Birds and dolphins

Risso´s dolphin ( Grampus griseus) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

The pelagic boat trip left the port of O Grove at 8:30  with six passengers and crew. A few minutes' drive, locate a group of bottlenose dolphins (eventually estimated at 15-20 individuals) who immediately approached the ship, allowing for excellent photographs. Subsequently, the "Chasula" continued toward the W passing near Rons, Porto Meloxo, A Mexiloeira and O Carreiro with observations of 65 shags, Atlantic gull, cormorant and moderate numbers of gulls. At the mouth of the estuary, and just before reaching the southern tip of Sálvora, we recorded a common murre, a razorbill, four sandwich terns and 11 northern gannets.After spending Sálvora, move to the WSW to 9 nautical miles W of the Ons island , where we made the first stop to release the frozen chum. On the way until 9 miles we see two Atlantic Puffins , two common murres, razorbills, 149 northern gannets (almost all adults, migrating to N) and surprisingly discrete numbers of gulls. Of note, the fisrt common tern spotted of the year, there were seven sunfish (dispersed), a shag appeared about 7 miles W of the island of Ons (too far from their usual area) and, as one of the sightings highlights of the day, two gray dolphins (one of them an old adult, looking whitish, heavily scratched) and four (or five) common dolphins observations allowed us to enjoy within walking distance of whales.The first chum came only about 40 yellow legged gulls and about 30 lesser black backet gulls and a Mediterranean Gull and three gannet. Only when we start from this point toward the line of 12 miles, a great skua showed up, also observed a common razorbill migration.Up to 12 miles the number of gulls increased and were seen isolated examples of puffin, guillemot, seagulls, mediterranean gulls, sunfish and five gannets.In the second and final chum, not far from two trawlers were fishing about 13 miles W of the island of Ons, four great skuas appeared (three of them near the boat and one of them something far away), two sunfish, a 170 gulls (one with a yellow ring, probably a yellow-legged from PNMTIAG) and eight gannets that were around the frozen block a few time.After spending about half an hour, and no prospect of spotting more species, we begin the return to port, looking to the island of Sálvora three new puffin (one very quiet, very close the "Chasula"), two murres, four razorbills, four common scoters (females), two sunfish and discrete numbers of gannets and gulls.After passing the southern tip of Sálvora, we noted a new puffin and great skua and near of beds polygon we saw some "extra" species as mallard, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Barn Swallow and White Wagtail, ending the day with a new sighting of three bottlenose dolphins.With the good taste of cetaceans observed in addiction seven puffins , twelve sunfish, eight great skuas, guillemots, razorbills and terns, landed at 16:00 at the port of O Grove, thinking about the next spring expeditions with Seabirds Galicia.

Northern Gannet ( Morus bassanus) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Great Black-backet gull and  European Shags ( Larus marinus & Phalacrocorax aristotelis) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Yellow-legged Gull ( Larus michahellis) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Lesser Black-backet Gulls ( Larus fuscus) Cosme Damián Romay Cousido (c)

Great Skua ( Stercrarius skua) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Common Guillemots ( Uria aalge) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Atlantic Puffin ( Fratercula arctica) Xosé Luis Fernández Carnero (c)

Risso´s dolphin ( Grampus griseus) Alfonso Santamaría (c)

Bottle nosed dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) Cosme Damián Romay Cousido (c)

Photographers ( Antonio Santamaría, Stefán Áki Ragnarsson y Xoán Diéguez) Cosme Damián Romay Cousido (c)

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