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April wildlife sightings fromand other news from Hebridean Whale Cruises.
The Minkes return
26 April 2009
It's official – the Minkes are back. One was spotted this morning just north of Rona, feasting on giant shoals of Mackerel with all the associated sea birds!
First Pilot spotted
18 April 2009
In the annual race between James and I to spot the first whale of the season the passengers won! It wasn't the expected Minke either.
This year a solitary Long-finned Pilot Whale got in first. I have seen pods of these animals heading north through the Minch at this time of year before so it wasn't a total surprise.
There is a lot of bird activity around Rona and Rona Bank, so It won't be long before we get the first Minke of 2009. The three Long-tailed Ducks are still showing well around Red Point.
The birds are back in town
11 April 2009
The weather has not been as good as last April so far but we have managed to find some Harbour Porpoises off Longa Island and at the north end of Isle Rona.
The Great Skuas are back with 'white eye', the longest serving member of our Longa Island crew, entertaining our passengers. I would think this bird must be the most photographed British Great Skua!
Other bird sightings include two Iceland Gulls, blue phase Fulmar Petrel, Shelduck (unusual for the West Coast), Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles. It's a good time to see the eagles as they are patrolling their territories, making sure there are no intruders.
Plenty of Divers in and around Loch Gairloch and Red Point. Common Terns have been reported around the country and I hope they return to Gairloch after the disaster of not a single fledged chick last season.
We are still waiting for the arrival of the Minke Whales, which must be imminent; the weather forecast is good for the Easter period so fingers crossed. We will be running our Shiant cruises from this week as the Puffins are back from their holidays!
p.s. from March, please don't buy ANY Icelandic or Norwegian seafood products! Even in restaurants ask where they are sourcing their seafood.