Monday, 5 October 2015

Dolphins off Brighton

A large pod of bottlenose dolphins, in two groups, one of about 8 the other 10 seen off Brighton 3rd Oct. The group included young dolphins and a large male.

The dolphins were spotted off Brighton Marina, playing in front of and around sailing boats near No. 1 bouy, around mid morning.

This might be the same group of dolphins reported earlier back in August

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Seal sighting off Brighton

I received a seal sighting yesterday at Brighton. The seal was spotted by Jonathan just off the beach  by west pier brighton. The seal slowly swam underwater west along the coast towards Hove surfacing occasionally.

It is not known if this is a common or a grey seal.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Seal obseved Bexhill East Sussex

A seal was reported feeding at Cooden beach at Bexhill (by old flag pole between Cooden Beach Hotel and the Star Inn). The seal was seen feeding and resting. A seal was previously reported feeding near here on 3rd July

Friday, 21 August 2015

More on Sussex dolphin herd

I have just heard today that the dolphin herd I posted on 18th August, seen in West Sussex, were later seen that afternoon (Sunday) at the West Pier Brighton and later at Saltdean near a group of wakeboarders.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bottlenose Dolphin Herd off West Sussex

I was contacted by the Worthing gazette yesterday to verify a possible dolphin encounter off West Sussex on Sunday. The sighting was a possible group of 30-40 dolphins. The sightings were made by Luke Biddlecombe and accompanied by some brilliant video footage of bottlenose dolphins.

Luke was returning from the Isles of Wight with a group of friends traveling in three separate boats. The dolphins were about a mile off the coast from Bognor when they were first encountered the dolphins.

One dolphin appeared first and then it became clear that there was a herd of dolphins. Luke and his friends estimated there were between 30 and 40 dolphins.

The dolphins followed the vessels for about 30 minutes, playing in the wake and in the bow wave. 

The dolphin herd included possibly as many as 4 or 5 juveniles. From the video footage there appears to be at least 3 juveniles. 


It is likely that this is a female herd with juveniles.

Luke and his friends said that it was a great experience and they were absolutely amazed by it.
Offshore groups of dolphins are only rarely encountered off Sussex so this was a great sighting. 

Sadly, the annual inshore sightings between Worthing and Brighton (100-200 metres from the shore) have greatly decreased in recent years, possibly due to the great increase in water sports.

The dolphins probably continued along the coast and would have been offshore when they passed Shoreham and Brighton.

Monday, 20 July 2015

St Nicholas and St Mary’s School visit

The last school visit before summer hols. Sadly after the sunny weather, the day of the visit was dull and drizzly however it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the children.

The visit was in two halves, the first focusing on the rock pools near the Shoreham Fort where the children explored the pools. A table and some trays where set up so the children could bring back some of the creatures they found and then I talked about the creatures in the trays which included juvenile shore crabs, blenny, shrimps, prawns and edible periwinkle.


The second part of the visit focused on the vegetated shingle as plants was one of the topics the children were learning about this term. I brought along a plant from his garden and asked the children that if he planted it on the beach would the plant survive. They said no. I then asked them why and the children listed lots of reasons such as no soil, no freshwater, sea spray, strong winds etc.
The shingle plants have adaptations that allow them to overcome the problems of living on the beach.
The children used an activity sheet to look for these special adaptations and then identified the plants using an ID guide sheet. The children did well despite the strong wind but unfortunately because of the weather they did not see any bees, butterflies or other invertebrates.

The children still had a great day and the teacher said the children had learned lots.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Dolphin sightied off Shoreham and Brighton

A group of 8 or more dolphins were seen off the coast on Monday evening. They were close to shore, between 100 and 200 metres and were first seen off Shoreham beach.

The dolphins were later spotted by kayakers off Brighton, alerting people on the beach to their presence. The dolphins were very active and frequently seen leaping and twisting before splashing back into the sea.

 The dolphins were too far from shore to make a definite identification. Most likely species is bottlenose dolphin, a costal species seen from time to time close to shore. Other possibility is common dolphins, a more deep water species but also seen near the coast locally on occasions. I have seen some video footage but the dolphins were too far out to make out much more than a rough shape.

I am hoping that someone out there has been able to photograph the dolphins and then it might be possible to confirm the species identification.

Inshore sightings have become far less common in recent years.