Thursday, 23 June 2011

June brings increased sightings

A personal note to start off this blog, and that is at this time of year I am really missing being out on the sea, with many days of calm weather and good sightings to report I hope it's not long until I'm out there myself.

The weather although not perfect has been much better than May and the wildlife is starting to be seen on a much more regular basis.

Minke Whales and Basking Sharks have been seen on the majority of the 4 or 7 hour trips in the last couple of weeks. There have also been some good sightings of Common Dolphins in the area as well.

The Harbour Porpoise have been showing well and despite there being no chicks to feed as mentioned last time the Ardmore Sea Eagles are being seen quite regularly.

Large numbers of seabirds such as Gannets, Manx Shearwaters and Auks suggest that there is a good amount of food to be had and hopefully this means that our Whale and Shark sightings will continue.

The Treshnish trips are also running full steam and everyone is once again returning delighted with such close views of the all the birds, but particularly the comical little Puffins.

On land there have been some unusual sightings in particular a European Roller seen on the 16th June and a Quail heard calling on the 17th.

We hope that these good sightings will continue and I personally hope it's not too long before I get out on the sea and witness these animals for myself.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Wet and windy May affects trips

It’s been almost a month since my last update and what a month it’s been. Usually this phrase suggests a positive experience but unfortunately not in this case. May usually one of the best months for weather off the West coast has been plagued by high winds and often very wet weather.

This has therefore had a knock on effect on the trips, for a period of about 10 days none of the boats could go out to Staffa and the Treshnish Islands, luckily they are now sailing again and people are enjoying the ‘Puffin Therapy’! It also had an effect on the boat trips from Tobermory, the rough seas meaning that although not many trips were cancelled we were much more restricted in our range, with most if not all trips staying in the Sound of Mull, this is an area that can bring fantastic sightings but unfortunately there was a period where not a lot was seen, obviously there’s always the faithful Harbour Porpoise and Seals, but the Sharks and Whales just weren’t showing. However towards the end of the month it started to calm down and again the boats could reach the further out feeding grounds and once they did there was the bigger wildlife waiting patiently. Since the beginning of June Minke Whales have been seen every day along with a number of Basking Shark sightings and Common Dolphins on Friday.

Since the last blog it has been confirmed that ‘our’ pair of Sea Eagles have not been successful in hatching chicks this year, what went wrong I’m not sure, but it is a huge shame, although hopefully next they will try again next year. For a couple of weeks they were not seen often but recently they have been back and seen regularly along with Golden Eagles. There were also some rare bird sightings, possibly brought in by the bad weather. There have been numerous reports of Pomarine Skuas and at least 2 Long-tailed Skuas have been seen.

The weather this week although showery is forecast to be quite calm and today is my chance to get out on the waves and I can’t wait to see what’s about. Hopefully the next blog won’t be so long away and we’ll have better weather to report!