North West Wales

Dolphins spotted off coast of Kinmel Bay, Conwy

A rare sighting of dolphins off the north Wales coast has been captured on camera.

Volunteers for the Sea Watch Foundation won funding to survey the area after several reported sightings in the past two weeks.

The pod of 20 bottlenose dolphins was filmed swimming around the charity's boat off the shore of Kinmel Bay.

The dolphins swam close to the boat

Dolphins are not an unusual sight off the coast of Wales but conservationists say they are not common in the area.

Hannah Finch-Saunders, a volunteer for Sea Watch Foundation, said the search, funded by the charity Sea-Changers, was organised following a string of sightings near Great Orme and off the Rhyl coastline.

The pod, which included young calves, approached the boat allowing volunteers to note their markings and observe their behaviour.

Ms Finch-Saunders said their presence in the area was exciting because although dolphins are known to travel around the Welsh coast, they are more commonly found further south at Cardigan Bay.

The pod included mothers and their calves

An increase in boats could be driving them north to quieter waters, she said.

"It's great that we are seeing more up here," she said.

"We are really happy to share this video and show how fantastic this is, but it's really important that boat owners don't follow them."

Ms Finch-Saunders said the charity hoped to win more funding so they can carry out more surveys to track the dolphins' progress.

Dolphins leaping
The dolphins indulged in extensive leaping in front of the boat
Dolphin leaping
Some of the dolphins came clean out of the water as they leapt
Dolphin under the boat
The photographer's shadow can be seen here on a dolphin

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