Friday, 2 December 2011

White Beaked dolphins

Just received an interesting sighting of a White-beaked Dolphin observed by surveyors bow-riding their vessel about 15 miles south of Worthing (9th November 2011). Followers of this blog may remember we had a small group of white beaked dolphins sighted some miles off shore between Eastbourne and Dieppe back in April this year.

This species often bow-rides so it is interesting that both local sightings of these dolphins were bowriding. This species is not normally recorded in the English Channel.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Seal in the River Ouse East Sussex

Another seal is currently in the river ouse East Sussex.  It does not appear to be the usual 'Ouse Seal ' that regularly visits this river or Twinkle the rescued and released seal we have been following this year.

The seal was first reported to me on the 29th Nov and I received a message from British Divers Marine Life Rescue that they had attended the seal on 28th Nov. The seal is a little on the thin side.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bottlenose dolphins off Brighton

A large group of bottlenose dolphins were reported 12 miles off Brighton. The sighting, that appeared on the news was made by Mr Lambert, who was fishing 12 miles off the Brighton coast when the dolphins appeared.

He said

"I have seen dolphins four times off Brighton, and twice this year.

"These were the biggest dolphins I've seen off Brighton."

The dolphins played around the vessel occasionally leaping out of the water near the boat.

The group was said to contain 70 dolphins, even allowing for an over estimation (which is common) this was still a large group.

If you did not see it, below is a link to the ITV website

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Grey seal at Goring

I received a grey seal sighting from the Sussex Wildlife Trust 'Wildcall' conservation officer.
The seal was seen at 12.30 pm on Thursday 13th October and is almost certainly the same seal as reported nearby at Goring on 17th October. The seal was about 20 metres from the high tide off the beach at Rustington.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Grey Seal, Goring West Sussex

I received a report of a seal off the beach at Marine Drive Goring-by-Sea from Mark and Claire. They took their children across to the beach and to their surprise watched a seal about 10 metres off the beach.

The seal was about 30 - 40 metre's off the beach and was photographed with the seal's head above the water. From the photographs, the seal appears to be a grey seal, with its flat head and Roman nose.Mark and Claire's description also suggests a grey seal.
Mark and Claire stayed for about 20 minutes and the seal periodically disappeared and reappeared at this distance. There was a large number of sea sports such as wind and kite surfing towards the east about 1 km way and the seal seemed to be very aware of the activity. If fact Mark and Claire said the seal is looking in that direction in the photo.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Seal in the River Arun

A member of the public (Jason) reported a seal in the Arun River (West Sussex) 1/4mile south of the marina at Ford. It was in the evening around 6.30pm. Jason reported that the seal was swimming on the surface travelling with the outgoing tide. when it saw us, it dived and surfaced around 100yds further down river about a minute later with a fish.

The last time I received a seal sighting in the Arun was back in 2008 when a common seal was seen (and photographed) above Arundel. There is a link below to my earlier blog entry of this sighting

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Return to the Wild

The young common seal rescued on Hove beach back in August is now recovered and was released back into then sea by the RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Mallydams today.

Below you can see a series of photographs all taken by Nikki Lambert of the moment the seal pup was released. The seal has been tagged so if the seal is unfortunate enough to be stranded in the future we will know about it. Who knows, we may also get a glimpse of this pup from time to time, as with Twinkle, the seal as it will be recognisable from the flipper tag and possibly from the photographs taken for ID purposes.

These images are (c) Nikki Lambert

The release of this seal was filmed by Autumn Watch and should be aired on Friday 4th November.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

More seal sightings

A common seal was spotted by a member of the public (Laurel) at Hope Gap - Seaford yesterday about 1pm. She also passed on information that her dad has spotted a seal in the River/sea in Newhaven a few times recently. Possibly Twinkle? Impossible to be sure without a confirmation of the tag.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rescued seal pup, Chichester, West Sussex

BDMLR rescued another seal pup in Sussex, this time at Chichester, West Sussex. One of the girls that helped with the transport named him ‘Peanut’, but I don’t know if the name will stick, at Mallydams he’s currently known as the Chichester seal pup.
(c) Sara Bowring
(c) Sara Bowring
(c) Sara Bowring

Here are some great pictures.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Latest seal pup update

The rescued seal pup from Hove now has a playmate. He now resides in an outside pool with a young female.
The Hove pup is the one in the front making a bit of a mess eating a fish, his new friend is directly behind watching.

Its great to see how well the rescued seal is doing and it should make a full recovery, more news soon.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Today, Elaine, the marine medic who helped rescue the Hove seal pup took a display about BDMLR to the Mallydams Open Day. This is where the seal pup is being cared for until it is released.
(c) Elaine Brown, Marine Medic British Divers Marine Life Rescue

BDMLR rescue many sea mammals around the country each year from dolphins and whales to seals like the one rescued at Hove. If you want to find out more about the great work that BDMLR does or even help support them, please click on the link below.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Dolphins and humpback whale in the English Channel

I recieved the following report today. On 3rd July, 3 bottlenosed dolphins were reported by Groupe d\'etudes des Cetaces du Cotentin on a ship wreck HMS Daffodil. The ship was lost off Dieppe on March 17th 1945 after striking a mine. HMS Daffodil is a big wreck 107m long. Today the wreck of HMS Daffodil wrests in only 24 metres of water, she sits upright and is pretty intact giving good swim through wreck penetration. The marine life on her is superb with large shoals of Bass and Black Bream in the wreckage. This may have been what attracted the dolphins to the wreck.

On 5th July a humpback whale was reported between Brighton and the French Coast.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Hove seal pup doing well

(c) Nikki Lambert, RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Mallydams

The rescued seal pup from Hove is still making good progress

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Seal pup doing well!

The seal pup rescued on Hove Beach on the 31st July (reported on 4th August on this weblog) is doing well.
(c) Elaine Brown, Marine Medic British Divers Marine Life Rescue

Emaciated and looking rather sorry for itself on arrival at RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Mallydams Wood. The seal has perked and and looking much better.
                       (c) Nikki Lambert, RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Mallydams

You can see the injuries the seal pup had to its face which have been cleaned and treated and should heal up okay. 

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Injured seal pup

I received a report of a seal pup beached on Hove Beach on Sunday, July 31st. I first heared about it through my daughter who saw it on a friends FaceBook page.

I then received a detailed report from Elaine, a medic for BDMLR who attended the pup. The seal turned out to be a common seal pup possibly less than a month old with serious injuries to its face and head, including a bad gash beside the left eye.

(c) Elaine Brown, Marine Medic British Divers Marine Life Rescue

The wildlife rescue ambulance service also helped with the rescue. At 4:45pm, the pup was on the beach near Hove Lagoon, before it went back into the sea.

The seal was relocated again later when it came back ashore and was taken to the RSPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Mallydams Woods in Hastings were he is currently receiving care.

The pup was reported as being repeatedly sighted from about 3:00pm at different areas along Hove Beach throughout the day until we picked him up at about 7:30pm.

It does make you wonder where the pup came from as it is so young. Even with currents etc, I can't imagine that it was born further than a few miles away. I wonder if there is a mother around somewhere. Common seals only feed their young for 4-6 weeks. This seal does look quite thin (rather than the large fat reserves a pup should have when weaned) maybe it become separated too early and for some time!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Comparing habitats, Summer School

On my way to Shoreham Beach to work with a group of students I noticed this cormorant eating an eel.

The eel put up a good fight before it was eventually swallowed whole.

I had been working with the school at Midhurst the previous day studying the grounds as a wildlife habitat and recording the various invertebrates we could find. Today we would be doing the same set of activities on the vegetated shingle at Shoreham.

However, first of all we explored the intertidal zone.

When we arrived an egret hunted along the edge of the incoming tide.
We would not have long to explore before the tide came in.

The children found a variety of marine life in the short time.
 A amphipod, related to sand hoppers. Not dead, just laying on its side. They swim on their side and also wiggle along on their side when on the sand.
These children find and photograph a shore crab

They also explore the rocky walls and sea defences covered in seaweed and inhabited by periwinkles , limpets, sea anemones and other wildlife.

 And more shore crabs

After lunch we explored the vegetated shingle beach

The children drew a plan of the beach habitat to compare with their school grounds habitat.

Then they investigated the shingle plants and their special adaptations

This is woody nightshade, a relative of deadly nightshade
The children also investigated the invertebrates to compare with species they recorded in their school grounds.

Solitary bee


They also recorded the bird life
Green finches

House sparrow

Ringed plover - wading birds.

Tomorrow, the children will be going to Iping Common to study the wildlife there and compare what they see with today's records and the records of their school grounds wildlife.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Returning the Sea Creatures

Today I returned the marine creatures back to the beach. I have been looking after them in a special marine tank.
I had originally planned to return them earlier, but it needed a good low tide to return the bivalve molluscs.
I searched for the area of chalk so I could fit the piece with the piddocks back in same place.

In one of the deeper tide pools, shore crabs fed on the remains of fish.

As I watched a little egret hunting along the waters edge another egret swooped down and chased the first egret

It chased the egret low across the mud flats and the back towards the harbour mouth

I then lost sight of them.

After a while a egret arrived and landed on the edge of the water and started to feed, I don't know if it was the first or second of the egrets.
It started to feed and then suddenly it was chased off by another egret.

After a while an egret returned 
This one started to feed and was still there about 30 minutes later when we left.