From land and sea, a wide variety of dolphin species can be seen throughout the year. Pods can contain anything from 2-3 individuals all the way up to hundreds known as super pods. They will usually be seen in feeding frenzies, moving up and down the coast or bow riding on boats.
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Our main resident dolphins are the common dolphin and bottlenose dolphins, of which we have one inshore group and multiple offshore groups. We often see risso dolphins, striped dolphina and atlantic white-sided dolphins. On very rare occasions, the UK does have a resident orca (they are dolphins) and you never know where they could turn up! We also have one species of porpoise frequent around our coasts which is the harbour porpoise.
You can sight dolphins all over Cornwall from the north to south coast and also in estuaries and harbours. From land or sea, but especially with us, you will most likely witness dolphins on flat and calm days.
You can see common dolphins all year round and even bottlenose on the off chance. However, April-September as sources state can be the best time of year to see them. Their distributions are often based upon their food sources so they will follow their food, meaning any time of the year can be a peak time to see them.
Although there may be some places in the world where swimming with wild dolphins is possible, it is not possible or advisable to do this here in Cornwall. Disturbance is a big issue and although it may not directly affect the dolphins, we don’t want to give the wrong impression. That is the case with wild dolphins. We’re really not into anything to do with captive dolphins though, copious amounts of research have concluded this is not in the animals best welfare and frowned upon. So if a SeaWorld experience is what you are expecting you might want to do some research first!
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