Tuesday, 18 September 2007

From David to Davina

Last year, on Nov 6th. Pam and I went along to Folkestone to see the Bottle-nosed Dolphin that had been in residence since the spring. I went along to Sandgate to see it this week.

Above are three views of the Dolphin, then named Dave. Such was "his" popularity that someone had take the opportunity to make some money selling "Dave the Dolphin" T-shirts. However, it has now been discovered that David is a she, so it is now Davina.

This year a somewhat disturbing trend has meant that people have not just been content to watch this beautiful animal, but they have felt compelled to go out in boats and canoes ( and even those hideous, antisocial and noisy Jet Ski things) to see her. Dolphins are highly intelligent and this one has become habituated to people and now gravitates to them when they are around. It has resulted in an injured fin from a propeller, but luckily this is now healed. While I can understand the fascination of swimming with a wild Dolphin, I can't help but think that it is both demeaning to treat it like a circus animal and very self indulgent. Now I believe it is unlikely that Davina will leave and take up a fulfilled existence with a pod of Dolphins, even if given the chance. This, as I say is my opinion, I'm sure others won't agree. While I was there I talked to a young lady who was doing research on the dolphin's interaction with people.

While I was watching the sea suddenly "boiled" with hundreds of small fish, White-bait I think, dashing about on the surface of the water. The reason for this frantic activity was the presence of Mackerel, which predate these small fish. The lone Razorbill above, was an early visitor from further north, and it was making full use of this surfeit of food. The Mackerel, on the other hand, were ideal prey for Davina. I was told that Davina had been mischievously chasing the Razorbill earlier and had previously been playing with a young Seal that wasn't too keen on the attention it was getting.

At one point the small fish were driven right up to the shingle and many were beached. A large number of gull were following then along and they were picking them up as quickly as they came ashore.

1 comment:

tut-tut said...

Why must people roar around on motorized vehicles?? I'm sick of it.

Great post!