Thursday, 11 June 2015

Bait balls at last

The Safari got a few minutes on Patch 2 this morning and it was pretty good too. A full scan gave us three Grey Seals and about a dozen Common Terns, the latter fishing successfully in shallow water bringing out small fish from only just under the surface. A large flock of presumed Sanderlings, they were a bit far out but we couldn't see any obvious black bellies, flew low over the water and out to sea going to Greenland or Canada perhaps.
In the shimmer out on the horizon we could just about make out the fluttering white dots of gulls and diving Gannets at a bait ball, well it was more spread out than a ball but there was a bit of a feeding frenzy going on and then a couple of miles further round another one! This second one had few Gannets in attendance, both were too far away to see if there were any mammals there.
Closer inshore a small trawler trawled with about 500 gulls following it. A look on Marine Traffic told us it was within the 'new' Marine Conservation Zone.
This track is from later in the day - been to port and come back out again
That's the boundary of the MCZ - they'd be far more effective if they were 'no-take' zones
Another smaller boat was much closer inshore but without a transponder so we couldn't see it on the map, probably shrimping so dragging up anything living in the sand on the seabed.
We didn't get much in the way of opportunities to get out with the camera on a gloriously warm and sunny day but we did go to thee shops! The local supermarket was knocking these beauties out for far less than you could make them for. We got there fairly early but the shelf had obviously been ransacked, lots of space and price markers below but only these two left - good on folk for buying them! 
And finally a couple from the yesterday and our trip to the beach with the little ones.
Sea Gooseberry by our colleague RK - not often you can see the detail of their internal structures.
 Where to next? Calm seas mean it's gotta be Patch 2 again in the morning.
 In the meantime let us know who's scooping up what in your outback

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