Archive for the 'Cetaceans' Category

28
Feb
18

Australian Round-up

If you fancy taking a break from the winter weather we’re experiencing here in the UK you can pay a visit to the ‘latest’ section of the Wildcatch Photography site. A number of photos from my recent Australian trip have been posted. They are sure to warm you through as you sip your hot chocolate. I hope you enjoy them. http://wildcatchphotography.zenfolio.com/p34814967

Advertisements
20
Feb
18

Sea Watch Foundation

You will perhaps know I am involved with Sea Watch Foundation. Kathy James, National sightings officer, and the sightings team around the UK have prepared a very useful document. It comprehensively brings together all the sightings in last summers National Whale and Dolphin Watch.  A good read. I can recommend it http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/National-Whale-and-Dolphin-Watch-Report-2017.pdf

30
Jan
18

Rarity

On a beautifully sunny day in Port Phillip an inviting turquoise sea lurred us out across the bay.

With only 150 Burrunan Dolphins known to exist, in two populations, it has to be one of the world’s rarest mammals. I was elated to see them almost immediately we left the quay. Around eight animals came and played around the boat and bow rode the passing ferry. Excellent stuff.

Education is a key to protecting habitats and the creatures that occupy our planet. Disappointingly the boat operator we used never mentioned once to their assembled clients what species of dolphin they were, how they differed from other Bottlenose Dolphin species and any how rare they were. Getting people in the water with the dolphins seemed to be a priority. I’ve never been keen to swim with dolphins myself; it’s their habitat … not ours, however, I can see how it appeals and if it’s done in the right way (which it was in this case) I don’t feel it does much harm. I had a good day on the water in Port Phillip. Good sightings and excellent company. Every day you see a cetacean is a good day. Even the enforced visit to a cold, windy and wet botanical gardens in the dark later looking for Possums was enjoyable!

31
Dec
17

Just the best day ever

So here we are. The end of the year. Some big changes for me in the last quarter; but what of the year in total, what were the best bits? Well, there were many that’s for sure. On the tours we had all the usual aspects of a visit to central Scotland in April with even some spring Waxwings making an appearance, followed by some astounding mammals in May; Salmon tossing Bottlenose Dolphins and Badgers you could have touched being the highlights. The trip to Mull in May gave us Eagles a plenty with some other notable raptors and auk sightings.  The Kites put on their usual display in a Welsh June with several dolphins thrown in. A summer tour to the Farne islands never disappoints and once again it lived up to its reputation. All this was capped off with a good scoop of rare birds on Scillies.

Day tours in Norfolk and beyond were again exceptional with some notable highlights of breeding Black winged Stilts and Cattle Egrets. Migration it has to be said was a little slow on the passerine front but seabirds and wildfowl came through in droves.

Personally there have been a couple of days that stand out in the memory. Seeing Blainville’s Beaked Whales in Madeira has to rank up there for sure. Madeira is a beautiful island and just kept giving. However, it was the South Atlantic in January that took my heart. One day in particular; 15th January and a ferry ride to Magdalena Island. The Commerson’s Dolphins, the Sei Whales, penguins, waders, passerines and the sheer biomass … and so much more. A memorable day which couldn’t be beaten.

 

28
Dec
17

Hourglass

I’m always telling my guests ‘NEVER delete photographs in the camera’. Have a good look at them on a big screen first. It can pay dividends. I’m so glad I listened to my own advice in January of this year when I was in the South Atlantic. Standing on the lower observation deck I could see splashing in the far distance. I couldn’t make out what was the cause but I fired off a few shots to look at later. I then got distracted with shearwaters and Albatrosses. I have to admit I almost deleted the shots as on the face of it they didn’t reveal anything during a quick scan on the back of the camera. It wasn’t until I returned home in February I found something quite startling.

Not a great photo, I have to admit, but there on close scrutiny quite clearly was the shape of a dolphin. A little careful processing and there you have it … an Hourglass Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus cruciger) These babies are quite small rarely seen dolphins. First identified in 1824 from drawings; despite years of whaling in the 20th century only three specimens had been found up to 1960. Up to 2010 only 6 complete and 14 partial specimens had ever been examined.

28
Oct
17

A Change

Change is inevitable. Nothing stops the same. Places change, people change, relationships change and time changes. The time had come for me to move on. I have left Falcon Cottage and have settled into a place at West Runton. I’m sorry to leave the comforting old house and the garden that has attracted so many rare birds; but time moves forward. My new flat a little ways along the coast at West Runton will serve its purpose well for the business. Thanks are due to very good friends Paul and Tony for the help they gave with the move on Monday and a select few others that have given, and continue to give, their support.

West Runton is a place of rarities too and I hope to be able to give the place the time it deserves to find a few. This is my new back garden.

07
Oct
17

Love of life

Whenever dolphins appear it shines a light into peoples lives. So it was yesterday.

Travelling out to the Isles of Scilly on the notorious Scillonian III conditions were flat calm. Ideal for seeing cetaceans. Bottlenose Dolphins were the first to appear; slow methodical, bulky dolphins these, we had around four of them. Harbour Porpoise were almost omnipresent and numbered in the 30’s. As we were watching them a large dark animal broke the surface. A Minke Whale gave four or five opportunities for us to get a glimpse…. and then they arrived!

In typical spectacular fashion Common Dolphins gatecrashed the party; leaping and bounding into centre stage. Everyone loves a playful dolphin!

 




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: