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May wildlife sightings from Nick Davies and other news from Hebridean Whale Cruises.

First Minkes, Terns and Skuas

9th May 2007

The good weather has stayed for the beginning of May and we have been rewarded with the first Minke Whale sighting of the year. This was on the 2nd at 12.30 just at the mouth of Loch Gairloch. The sightings continued on the 4th and again yesterday. Started late but looking good.

The first Common Terns arrived back from southern Africa on the 3rd. It's always great to see these elegant, noisy little terns come back to nest in Loch Gairloch.

Two pairs of Arctic Skuas turned up yesterday to keep the terns 'company' for the summer. One pair was in dark morph* and the other pair included one of each. The light morph was my favourite, not just because of the beauty of the bird but also because it seemed a bit more tenacious.

Our New Boat Arrives

14th May 2007

We have added to our fleet! The Kerry is joined in Gairloch by Orca 1, a superb 11 metre offshore RHIB. She carries 12 passengers and cruises at upto 26 knots. From now on we will be able to take our clients quickly to the more distant offshore feeding grounds. The Shiants, for instance, can now be visited in a three hour round trip.

We went to pick up the new RHIB on the 10th near Fort William and we had a good sea trial coming back up to Gairloch. It took five hours! We encountered two Minkes on the way, one around Ardnamurcan point and the second just east of Rhum; this Minke was feeding with Manx Shearwaters.

Stormy Weather

27th May 2007

Unfortunately the arrival of Orca 1 has brought relentless northerly winds, which make cruises on the new boat much more exciting but sadly the animals are much harder to find.

Since the arrival of the first Common Terns at the beginning of the month we now have record numbers – we estimate approximately 250 pairs on Glas Eilean as the month draws to a close.

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