Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Week 3 June 24th- 31s

Bad weather on Monday the 24th meant we only got out on a morning trip. It was challenging to spot anything in the poor conditions but some diving gannets revealed the location of a single minke whale. Shortly after that we got a brief glimpse of a basking shark at the surface of the water but he quickly departed.

Minke Whale (c) Paddy O'Dwyer - IWDG

The boat was contracted to get some recordings of minke whales and harbour porpoise vocalisations on Tuesday the 25th and Wednesday the 26th. This would provide an excellent opportunity to capture some photos of the animals as we would be stopping near them with the engines turned off.  Conditions were excellent over the two days and this was reflected in the high number of sightings over the two days. On Tuesday we had three separate harbour porpoise sightings and four different encounters with minke whales the last of these was a pair of animals consisting of one adult and one juvenile. On Wednesday an increase in effort to find harbour porpoises resulted in five separate harbour porpoise sightings.  Two of these were groups of two animals, one was a group of three and two of the sightings were of individuals. We also had 4 different minke whale sightings, two individuals and two groups of two including an adult and juvenile similar in sizes to those seen yesterday. One surfaced only a few meters from the rear of the boat providing us with a fantastic close view of the animal. We also encountered a single basking shark on this trip.

Minke Whale (c) Paddy O'Dwyer - IWDG

Thursday the 27th despite the poor visibility for most of the day due to fog we still had plenty of sightings. A group of two minkes started the day off, these were in the same position where we have seen the adult and juvenile pair over the previous two days. We had two more sightings of individual minkes and three sightings of basking sharks one of these was a group of two the others were individuals. Two sightings of individual harbour porpoises rounded off the day.

 Basking Shark (c) Paddy O'Dwyer - IWDG

In addition to this we had the usual grey seals, puffins, manx shearwaters, kittwakes, gannets and razorbills.

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