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

We'll be back!

31 October 2009

We are now taking our regular winter break. But keep in touch – we'll be back as usual in March and so will this news and sightings journal. See you then ...

Bad weather continues

21 October 2009

From the last two weeks in September until now we have only managed a few cruises because of continuous bad weather. So there's not that much to report except the usual naval invasion of the Minch which happens at this time of year. Thankfully that has ceased now.

There have been a few recent sightings of Orcas about 10 miles west of Melvaig. They were watched for about an hour and a half, "annoying a Minke Whale"! As usual I was on a two hour inshore cruise and I was gutted because if I'd been on Orca 1 that is just the area we traditionally search at this time of the year.

On our last offshore cruise I found two huge "hurries" of seabirds (this is the name given to seabirds in a feeding frenzy at the surface). In normal conditions there would have been some form of cetacean in attendance but this was during the period of naval activity. Still, it was impressive to see the squabbling gulls and auks.

The weather has been so bad that I've had a bit of time to enjoy other parts of northern scotland and a bit of twitching in Orkney and Lewis. Orkney was superb with the Sandhill Crane and a Leach's Storm-petrel exhausted on the "sun deck" of the ferry back. I was worried about it but by the time I was getting ready to disembark the bird was happily preening so I think it was fine.

Went to Lewis to try and find the annual male Snowy Owl as this is a bird I've always wanted to encounter, but was unsuccessful. Did get a 'lifer' for me with an unexpected Olive-backed Pipit! Also when my brother and I were getting "camoed up" a juvenile golden eagle landed 50ft away from us and sat there scanning for five minutes!

Just a week and a half to go before our cruises finish for the year so there's still time for a Sei Whale!







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