By Freya Coombes
THESE INCREDIBLE photos show a dolphin leaping from UK waters to chaperone a mother and calf dolphin family.
These images were captured by civil servant Simon James (53) from Carmarthenshire, Wales. Captured at Mwnt Beach in Ceredigion, West Wales, Simon snapped the dolphin’s water breach using a Nikon D500 camera.
One photo captures the solitary adult, which can grow up to eight or nine feet long and can power through the water at an immense speed of 25 miles per hour, leaping into the air next to the mother and baby. The nose of the dolphin breaks the surface as they swim by the performing adult.
Simon has been photographing wildlife for 20 years, getting serious about his hobby seven years ago. He joined the local camera club and , through lessons, he developed his skills.
Dolphins search for their food using echolocation and rarely breach the water. Often only the dorsal fin surfaces. Leaps out of the water occur only once or twice a day.
“The Mother and Calf came in looking for food and were active for about five mins before being joined by another adult,” said Simon.
“I noticed they became very active in one spot in the bay so I assumed they had hit a possible shoal so I kept focussing on the spot in the hope one would breach.
“I’ve spent a few days every other week sitting in the same spot for two to three hours to get a shot like this, picking good high tides and waiting. When it happens it’s very rewarding.
“I started wildlife photography some years ago but the last six summers I’ve been going to Mwnt and New Quay to photograph Dolphins.
“They are incredible creatures to see and it became an addiction in trying to capture the perfect shot.”