Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Looking out to sea

Looking out at sea I often wish I could identify more of the wildlife along our coast, so when I saw a course being run locally to help identify marine life, it was just too good to miss!


The course was run by a UK charity called  "Marine life" who run an extensive programme of marine research and projects in the English Channel, Bay of Biscay and North Sea. They operate on 14 ferry routes and routinely record the number of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea birds they see on these trips.


Jan 2014


It was surprising to learn how much wildlife there is in the water around our island. What's more with the help of binoculars and knowing the signs and the right sea conditions it may be possible to see these magnificent animals from the shore.


In Dorset there have been recordings of bottle-nose dolphins, white-beaked dolphins,common dolphins and harbour porpoises.

Image West Bay Card




Although it seemed easy to identify the wildlife with the help of picture charts. It is quite different to quickly identify an animal when you only get a quick fleeting glance! 


We saw these dolphins on a boat trip a few years ago in Studland Bay. It was a wonderful experience to see them!  I need lots of practice and better sea legs before I will be volunteering to join in the recording from a boat at sea! On our walks along the coast the camera will now be acccompanied with binoculars too!

If you are either visiting the coast or taking a ferry it would be worth visiting Marine life here and finding out what wildlife you might be lucky enough to spot. Have you ever spotted anything exciting at sea or from the shore?

As the sun was setting one evening last week ,we sat in a harbourside pub and enjoyed these views.


 Sarah x

44 comments:

  1. Hello Sarah I have been out of action for some time but must say good to be back looking at pictures like your last one here, it may be a while before we can get back to one of our, no our favourite county, your blog always reminds me of the John Masefield poem.........

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  2. Immensely beautiful sights and so good to hear you managed to find and join a group of people who can teach you more about the wildlife along your shores and in the water!

    I loved to watch the dolphins swim by in the mornings and evenings, in places along the American East Coast. I miss being close enough to the sea to take a day drive out there.

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  3. This sounds like such an interesting thing to do. There are so many kinds of dolphins there, I really had no idea.

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  4. I love those last two pics. Sitting out and watching the sun go down, it speaks of summer. x

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  5. Such beautiful views of the harbour in the evening!! I never knew that there were dolphins in Lyme Bay, the next time I am there I will have to look out for them - and pay better attention!!!!!!!!! What a great thing to learn about, especially as you get to spend so much time by the sea. xx

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  6. That last photo is utterly stunning. I'm right there with you. The marine life course sounds wonderful, exactly the kind of thing we would enjoy. Its lovely to think of all of the life out there.

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  7. Even when you know what you're looking for it is difficult to identify things - I agree - most things just look like a black shape to me. Love the colour of the sea in that rock picture - looks almost tropical and the harbour scenes are almost like paintings - beautiful. Hope you spend many happy hours with your binoculars and find something special to tell us about.

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  8. Oh Sarah, how I love blogs about the seaside, and you know, I don't know about too many. YOUR blog takes me where I love to be, and I just adore sea life. This summer, my husband is taking me back to our honeymoon spot in Carmel, California, where the ocean and land meet like a match made in heaven. And there are SQUIRRELS on the beach! I need to pull out an old photo of my husband on our honeymoon as we walked on the beach. He found a piece of driftwood to sit on and brought out a bag of nuts. He is COVERED from head to toe in squirrels!!!!! 32 years ago....can you image?

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    1. what a great story. I can't imagine being covered from head to toe with any animal but if you have to be mugged, a swarm of squirrels wouldn't be too scary.

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  9. Sarah you live my dreams! The photo of the seagulls on the rock with water is so perfect that I want to paint it. And your view from the pub is what life is all about...seaside beauty. xxo

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  10. That sounds a lovely course to do. We regularly see gannets diving in the bay, and I have seen a whale leap right out of the water off the west coast here. Must keep my eyes skinned and my binoculars to hand..

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  11. That's worth knowing about, I've made a note of their site. Your photos are lovely especially the final one :-)

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  12. Hi Sarah,

    How beautiful your photos are and must have been wonderful sitting in the pub and enjoying the view of the setting sun. It must have been interesting doing the course and learning more about the marine life and birds.
    Often when we travel on the ferry the boats stops to allow us to view a pod of dolphins playing in the sea and that is really special.
    Happy Thursday
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  13. That sounds really neat Sarah. Its amazing what is really out in our very own backyards. A wonderful way to spend time out doors. I just love the last two photos, beautiful photos. As always.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Bobbie Lynn

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  14. We live near the Fraser River in British Columbia. One spring afternoon, we spotted something huge across the river, swimming upstream. When it barked, we realized that it was a sea lion, a huge sea lion. Immediately, the Canadian Geese that were swimming near the shore with their flotilla of goslings reacted. They dropped their heads almost to the surface of the water and herded their babies quickly to shore. They couldn't get off the water fast enough.

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  15. Hello Sarah. What a wonderful opportunity to take the Marine Life class. Now you have many more reason to go down Sea. The birds on the cliffs look like Puffins????? Lovely photos indeed especially those from the pub. Hugs judy

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  16. I am always thrilled and amazed with dolphins.
    When we lived in Florida use to watch them in the bay often ,
    fascinated and mesmerized I would always be.

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  17. So gorgeous... I love the photos you share. Thank you for this lovely post!

    xox

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  18. I have seen whales from shore and a whale leaping up when I was on a whale watching boat! But it is hard for me to identify creatures when they are on the move, especially birds. I enjoy it though, and think it is neat you were able to take the course. Did I tell you I am headed south to the California coast for a few days with my sisters? I am so excited! I hope to post some photos, and thank you once again for sharing yours, Sarah xx

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  19. The course sounds like a great idea. The shots of the harbour are wonderful. Wish I was there now!

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  20. If that last photo is the view from the pub, I seriously would not want to leave it's magnificent. When in Fiji I saw hundreds of flying fish it was so magical they look like something from a fairy tale.

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  21. "Marine life" sounds a lovely way to discover more about the sea and the life that lives in it. I often look out to sea, and never see any action, but know that plenty of action must be going on beneath the waves. To be able to read the tale tale signs would be so useful - lovely photos.

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    1. Their advice was to look for the unusual a wave or object out of place. The best conditions are when the sea is calm and the light not to bright. Sarah x

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  22. Oh those two last photos are just spectacular and make me want to sit there too. And what a wonderful course, it's great to do these things to expand our knowledge and skills isn't it?

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  23. I feel calmer just for looking at your photos - thank you. I lost a ring recently and bought a fill-in substitute in a charity shop on Sunday for £1.49 just because I liked the look of it. It is described as a 'mood ring' and supposedly changes colour with your mood. A load of tosh I thought but it changed to the calm colour when I looked at these pics!

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  24. Lovely photos, especially of the sun going down in the harbour. The light is beautiful. I've seen dolphins, both from a boat and the shore - a magical sight. I'd love to know about the life that can be seen on the sea shore itself in rock pools etc - fascinating!

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  25. When we have sailed across the North Sea in our yacht, we have often been joined by a family of dolphins playing in the wash of the boat. Apparently it helps them clean their skin, we thought they were just excited to see us! But they are magnificent and I do love seeing them up close. I love the pictures of the harbour, I could spend hours their just people and boat watching xxx

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  26. I feel I need to take a course in birds so that I can truly appreciate the wildlife in our area. I hear their song, but don't know what they area. I did not realize there are so many ferries to so many different countries! I can see where having England as a home base would be a wonderful way to explore the various cultures you have access to! Flying across the ocean to experience something different does not sound like something I'd care to do more than once. I would make the trip to England, but I've told my husband I'm afraid I won't want to come home! Is there any way to get around the 6-month quarantine for dogs? Are cats quarantined too?

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    1. The 6 month quarantine no longer applies as long as the animals have been micro chipped, had a rabbies injection and have the right paper work see https://www.gov.uk/pet-travel-information-for-pet-owners.
      Sarah

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  27. The "Marine Life" corses must be very interesting. Like you, I can catch a quick glimpse of something and not be sure what I`m seeing.
    I love your photos of the seabirds on the cliffs.

    One of my best sighting was a pair of bottle nosed dolphins, seen from the cliff path at Durlston. So exciting. They seemed such energetic and joyful creatures.

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  28. What a great thing to do ... something I could certainly do with doing ... I am useless at identifying anything! Lovely pics.

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  29. What a great opportunity to be able to take that course on marine life! It's nice to have names to be able to put on the wildlife you see around you. On a ferry trip to Vancouver Island I spotted a pod of killer whales. They frequent the waters around here, and are such amazing animals.

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  30. A little bit of local (though totally un-seaworthy) knowledge. If you happened to sit for a moment while you were taking the top picture, you will have found out why, to some, that place is known as 'The Wobble Benches'.

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  31. I'm afraid I've no sea view.....well not until we go to St Ives! Beautiful images :) x

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  32. Your course sounds fantastic what a good thing to learn more about. It really is amazing what wildlife we have all around us. I have been very lucky with marine life, maybe partly due to the places where I have spent lots of time - I've seen otter on many occasions, a whale off Skye (but couldn't identify which kind), porpoises off the Outer Hebrides, dolphins in the Moray Firth (where we're going to live and they are very commonly seen there - the kids are really excited about this!) and basking shark off Skye. The basking shark were incredible, really prehistoric, and we saw them very close up.
    I hope you have some good luck on your walks from now on! Juliex

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  33. Your boat harbor is so much more picturesque than ours.

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  34. Oh, the last photo is wonderful.

    Have enjoyed seeing Puffins & seals in while on holiday in North Wales and while abroad, dolphins turtles & rays !

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  35. Sigh.............. I want to live by the sea xxxxx

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  36. The last two photos are pieces of art Sarah!!! I'm sure you will learn great things!

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  37. Beautiful views of the harbour Sarah... the sea life is fascinating, I can remember spotting a basking shark when I lived in Cornwall and I felt so privileged
    Happy Weekend
    Thea xx

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  38. That sounds like a great corse to do, I love the last two photos.

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  39. Hope I will be able to visit your part of Dorset one day Vivienne. It looks beautiful on your photographs! Wish we had dolphins in our part of the North sea as well :-)

    Happy Sunday!

    Madelief x

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  40. We have quite a few of these courses here in Torbay and are very lucky to have amazingly enthusiastic wildlife spotters who run regular courses. I have seen porpoise from the coastal path going towards Dartmouth from Berry Head, I was so excited and actually had my binoculars with me at the time.

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  41. I really love your sea and coastpictures! Lovely greeting

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