Quite a crowd of Badgers on our Badger Watch the other evening. Or more correctly a Cete of Badgers. After the adults disappeared to forage we were left watching these young ones playing. We had to stifle a few laughs at times.
Goosanders are just great aren’t they? – This one was photographed on our Mull tour this month. An itinerary for next years tour is available here. http://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/tours/longer-tours-pelagics/
A spring Red breasted Flycatcher is rare enough but this one aside the cricket ground in Overstrand was singing. No red chested songster this one; not even a rose flush. However, the worn coverts concealed the remnants of a partial wingbar. A first year bird … just into long trousers. A smart find for someone … we know not whom.
It was good to see Black Guillemot last week up in Scotland. I had the feeling numbers were down as they had vacated several areas where previously they had been present. However, these are probably the most social and endearing of the Auk family … yes even more endearing than Puffins.
The tour I run to Mull each year includes a boat trip to the Cairn’s of Coll. This year we had a close encounter with a Minke Whale. It was good to see the expertise of the skipper and crew shining through by not chasing the animal but biding time and waiting for it to come to us … and it did … BIG TIME!
From somewhere around 800m away the animal took a beeline towards us. Like any animal it was pushed by inquisitiveness to investigate. The whale finally surfaced it’s 10m bulk alongside the boat giving us unprecedented views.
In the photos I took it’s possible to see the white pectoral fins below the surface of the water as well as subtle patterning and shading on the back and head. Most people think it is only possible to identify individual animals by their dorsal fins. Some have unique shapes and nicks making re-identification possible. Our Minke had a classic notch-less, some would say perfect, dorsal fin. However, the body marks also enable individuals to be identified too. A good camera and a little patience are all that is required … and an obliging Minke of course.