Harbour porpoises are feeding off the Maldon coast. Three creatures were seen just after 2pm on Sunday July 23, in Bradwell Creek, around the south bank of the River Blackwater. Sailor Ross Chaplin was with his family sailing into Bradwell Marina.
“We saw a pod of three right as we came into the creek. It was lovely to watch them and a bit of a surprise because the water was quite choppy. Two of them were little ones. I think they were feeding on bass because they’re just starting to show at this time of year.
“We saw a pod of seven or eight at exactly the same time last year.”
Harbour porpoises are not common in Essex, but summer is the best time to see them when they come inshore with calves.
The photo of a mother and calf (above) was taken by Colm O’Laoi, a Kent and Essex Fisheries officer, on July 3 off the coast of Brightlingsea. He estimates he sees eight to ten a year. Seafarers and bird watchers report most sightings, but anyone with a pair of binoculars and beady eye can get lucky. Keep your eyes peeled, and if you see any more ping me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post more sightings here.