Dolphin Watch at Mwnt beach

As a volunteer ranger based at Llanerchaeron you get to conduct interesting and informative surveys. The latest survey that is being carried out from June to September is the monitoring of the Bottle nosed Dolphins that reside in Cardigan Bay in West Wales. This survey is new for the volunteers this year and is one that is enjoyed by all. It’s also a few hours break from the general work that we do at Mwnt such as gorse and bracken clearing.

 The survey is carried out on behalf of Ceredigion County Council, who have been monitoring the dolphins in Cardigan Bay since the mid 90’s at various sites along the coast between Cardigan island and Aberystwyth. Very rarely do we have a blank survey day and at this time of year we have had the pleasure of watching small family pods of dolphins with young calves go through a variety of behavior, from hunting and feeding to playing and making spectacular leaps from the water. The younger dolphins prove to be the most energetic as they practise the skills that the adults are teaching them.

 For me, what makes the survey work even more special at Mwnt is the vast amount of wildlife that you encounter during the two hour watch. You get to see a wide range of sea birds such as Gannets, Fulmars and a variety of Gulls, as well as divers such as Guillemot and Razor bills. Another special bird that lives on the coast at Mwnt is the Chough. They are fascinating to watch as they group together and socialise throughout the day, either foraging for insects or providing spectacular displays such as barrel rolling when in flight. Also seen at Mwnt are birds of prey such as the Peregrine Falcon and Kestrel with the later observed raiding Skylark nests on the headland.

 There is also a lot of plant life to be seen both at the site of the watch and all along the head land at Mwnt, with the Heath Orchid being a personal favourite this time of year. There is another orchid that we will lookout for next month and that is Autumn Ladies Tresses which we didn’t manage to see last year but fingers crossed that we do this time round.

To find our more about volunteering with the Rangers at Llanerchaeron please email: gwen.potter@nationaltrust.org.uk

dolphin watch with the volunteers at Mwnt

dolphin watch with the volunteers at Mwnt

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