NEW QUAY Sea Watch Foundation witnessed a rare siting of a bottlenose dolphin calf feeding from its mother last Thursday (Aug 4) offering an exciting opportunity for the UK-wide research charity to widen their knowledge of Cardigan Bay’s dolphin inhabitants.
Volunteers begin their shift at 7am and work through to 9pm when the light and weather conditions allow. Sonia, of the research charity, begun her shift on Thursday (Aug 4) and was welcomed by a collection of six dolphins, including a tiny newborn calf.
Although it is not uncommon for the bay’s bottlenose dolphins to appear very close to the harbour wall in New Quay, this occasion was extraordinary as six appeared seemingly out of nowhere and to Sonia’s astonishment, one was a tiny newborn dolphin calf.
On occasion, bottlenose dolphins do use the sheltered waters of Cardigan Bay to have their young. However, Sonia was overjoyed to witness the rare site of the youngster feeding from its mother.
Dolphins, along with whales and porpoises (collectively termed cetaceans), are mammals and produce milk which they feed to their young.
Sonia, Research Assistant for the charity this summer, described the event, stating: “I didn’t know where to look! There was so much happening all at the same time and I could not believe that I had the opportunity to witness a newborn calf being fed.”
Aside from the opportunity to see this special behaviour, there were also four other dolphins in the mix, including ‘Berry’ and her calf, ’Pip’.
Scientists are able to identify individual dolphins by photographing their dorsal fins. Over time, the fins build up nicks and notches which are unique to each animal, similar to a finger print in humans.
Once an animal is photographed and identified, its life history can be determined; which habitats does it prefer, which months is it seen, where does it travel to, how old is it, does it have any young?
Pip was named last year by the public who took part in a naming competition both online and from the pier in New Quay. With three youngsters having been seen in the past couple of weeks, the foundation will be again offering the opportunity to name one of these youngsters.
Using the photo-identification technique, the charity is able to offer an ‘Adopt a Dolphin’ scheme which offers adoptees the chance to follow the fortunes of real wild bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay. The charity is reliant on the scheme for funding, which directly contributes to the well-being of Cardigan Bay dolphins.
Two new calves had been previously spotted in the bay, the first of which was witnessed during a Sea Watch all day survey on July 30, during which its mother was identified as ‘Trouble’ who has been followed by the team of researchers since 1989.
The other calf was photographed by the staff on board Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips on August 3 and the researchers will be working with the boat company to identify the individual’s mother in order to calculate just how many baby dolphins there are in the bay.
Time given to develop Parc Natur Penglais
VOLUNTEERS, including students, have given around 500 hours of their time to develop Parc Natur Penglais.
Along with support from Ceredigion County Council, the Group have built around 100 steps in 5 different places which has made the park a great place to walk, play and enjoy around a number of safe paths.
Councillor Mark Strong said: “Knowing that we have the support of the local community makes such a difference to peoples’ enthusiasm and having the grant from Aberystwyth Town Council, Cambrian News and Tesco made it possible. Volunteers can make a relatively small sum of money go long way.”
RSPCA aim for Christmas number one
MUSIC fans across Wales can help the RSPCA secure the Christmas number one slot, and provide vital support for animals in need across the country.
The animal welfare charity has thrown its hat into the ring to claim the festive chart accolade – as up-and-coming singer Lucy Ellie covers Simply Red’s hit song ’Stars’ in aid of the RSPCA.
‘Stars’ is the soundtrack to the charity’s ‘Kindness at Christmas’ video, which has already gone viral with over two million views online across a variety of platforms.
The tear-jerking video tells the story of Woody the Christmas toy pup who who is thrown out with the rubbish before being rescued and taken in for care by the RSPCA.
Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.
RSPCA Cymru is again bracing itself for a busy festive period. In December 2016 and January 2017 alone, in Wales, 5,932 incidents were reported to the RSPCA – with 141 of these on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Lucy Ellie Cooper, who works at the charity, said: “This was a lovely opportunity for me to combine my two loves – animals and music.
“Outside of my job at the RSPCA I am a country music singer and songwriter, so when the chance came up to record such a fantastic and well-known song for the charity’s Christmas video, I jumped at it. I really hope people will take Woody’s story into their hearts and support the RSPCA this winter.”
You can help the RSPCA rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in desperate need of care, and support the charity’s ‘kindness’ campaign online
Charity games raise over £2000
NOT all heroes wear capes and Tesco Aberystwyth’s very own Community Champion, Natasha Worrall has proven this raising a staggering £2,096.27 for local and national charities.
Natasha, the brainchild behind the charity football events, came up with the idea first off by challenging Tesco’s neighbours, Marks and Spencer’s, to a football match, she quickly set her powers to work and contacted Aberystwyth Football club who were more than happy to help and allowed use of the pitch.
The Big Day arrived, there was a lot of tension and passion on the pitch that night, it was more than just about winning a match it was the status, the pride and most of all bringing people together to raise money for three great causes; Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Mind. Hundreds of supporters braved the cold October evening to support the players and Tesco stole the show with a 7-1 victory and an amazing £607 was raised.
Natasha now had a taste of success under her cape and wanted to really get this event of the ground and challenged supermarket rivals, Morrisons to a match! The response for Tesco vs Morrisons was just what Natasha wanted and a November date was set.
Tesco now had experience in their boots and both teams had everything to play for. Victory once again went to Tesco who pipped Morrisons at the post and clawed back to a 5-4 victory raising a further £648.15 for Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation and Clic Sargent.
In true football fashion Natasha wanted a hat trick but could Team Tesco achieve this? Last Sunday (Dec 3) seemed the perfect opportunity and the opponents who were up for the challenge came from Bronglais Hospital and their chosen charity Pila Pala, Llwyn yr Eos. What a match! And what great team to take victory, Hywel Dda 2 – Tesco – 0. A rematch could certainly be on the cards especially as they raised the biggest amount ever of £841.12.
Behind every success there is always great team and working with Natasha and the players a number of local heroes who helped, Ruth’s kitchen provided heroic meals for all the players for a £1 donation, Aberystwyth women’s Team loaned their footballs, the Referees, linesmen, stewards, security, first aiders and ball boys and girls who all donated their time free of charge.
Team Tesco are looking for more opponents to play and raise even more money for local charities, if you are interested please call into Tesco store and see Natasha.
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