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The cormorant and the sunfish

I was just 100 yards out to sea from harbour starting a Lyme Regis mackerel fishing trip last Wednesday when I spotted seagulls circling in front of me.

There were seven passengers aboard and it was a perfect day - sunny, warm and calm. I always check out what seagulls get excited about at sea. This habit has always paid off because it has led us to see dolphins, a basking shark, a humpbacked whale on two occasions and of course shoals of mackerel.

CormorantOcean sunfishAs I got nearer, I spotted a cormorant swimming on the surface with its neck bent right over and its head under water. On closer inspection I saw an ocean sunfish in its beak. Now ocean sunfish get absolutely huge but this one was about a foot across and the cormorant was never ever going to swallow it but it didn't want to give up trying!

But with eight people hanging over the side of the boat watching, the bird panicked and flapped off. The sunfish disappeared down into the depths. Unfortuately no cameras recorded the moment.

We do see sunfish here three or four times a year lying on the surface gently flapping a fin and appearing to bask in the sun hence the name. Harry May Boat Trips also offers Lyme Regis deep sea fishing trips.

Published on 06/04/2017.

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