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17 September 2014
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Coast - Cardigan Bay

Coastal spectacle

Cardigan Bay

Cardigan Bay is an outstanding marine environment where you're guaranteed a special wildlife watching experience. It's also one of the best places in the British Isles to watch Dolphins from land or sea.

Cardigan Bay - marine life, dolphins and sea birds

New Quay lies on the Coast of Cardigan Bay in Wales - this popular seaside town has a lovely beach and an assortment of local shops and hotels.

The bay itself boasts an unspoilt coastline with sandy coves, beaches, cliffs and great sea views.

The area is one of the best spots in Britain to catch a glimpse of Dolphins, and there's also some great bird and marine life.

Wildlife wonders

Razorbill c/o Chris PackhamThere are three main species to look out for - the Common Dolphin, the Rissos Dolphin and, the biggest and most boisterous of them all, the Bottlenose Dolphin.

Dolphins are regularly spotted out at sea from on the coast path a mile or so from New Quay.

There also plenty of other wildlife along the cliffs including seabirds such as Choughs, Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Razorbills, Guillemots and Peregrines.

You can see Grey Seals all the time - they hawl themselves out on the rocks just down the coast at low tide and can be seen swimming about just offshore.

Dolphin watching

Bottlenose Dolphin c/o STWINew Quay harbour is home to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre which has information about the flora and fauna of these shores.

A boat trip from the harbour takes around four hours.

On every trip a researcher goes out with the boat to help gather data for ongoing scientific work.

The more the researchers learn about the Dolphins, the better they can be understood them - and the more likely you are to see them on these trips.

The research team use photography to keep records of the marks on the Dolphins' dorsal fins to track numbers and the progress of individual creatures.

Bottlenose Dolphins are seen regularly on these trips, although there are also two other species - Risso's and Common Dolphins which tend to be slightly further out to sea.

When Common Dolphins are seen, they can be spotted in big numbers such as in 2002 when a super pod of 1,500 Dolphins was filmed.

Rissos are sighted far less regularly and not in such numbers.

Photo credits

Dolphin and Gannet photographs courtesy and copyright of Severn Trent Water International.



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