Thursday, 9 August 2012

The good weather & sightings continue

It’s time for another monthly round up and my how this month has flown. I have just been reading the last update and things are still pretty much the same up here. We are still seeing very good numbers of Minke Whales, up to 7 on one of the full day Whale watching trips, we also had a spell where we were seeing the Minke Whales and Basking Sharks very frequently on the 2 hour trip, in fact we had 7 consecutive 2 hour trips that all saw at least one Minke Whale and usually 2. How lucky we are to live so close to these majestic creatures.

Until the last week or so the Basking Sharks continued to show well, just recently the sightings have dropped off a bit, but it seems that the plankton is just that bit lower in the water, the other possibly reason for the shift is something that was first brought to my attention by one of the skippers and he raised an idea that during long periods of bright sunshine the Shark sightings are usually lower, whether there is any truth to this we don’t know but this is the only possibly downside to the lovely sunny weather we’ve had that I can think of.

Talking about Basking Sharks we have had a group of scientists from the University of Exeter out on one of the local boats. They were here to carrying out tagging on Basking Sharks. For such large animals not much is known about the species, for example where do they overwinter and where do they give birth? So armed with high tech and very expensive tags they set off very early in the morning from Tobermory and travelled out to Tiree, Gunna Sound and Hyskeir to deploy the tags. You can follow the tracks of some of the animals here

As well as our local Sea Eagle nest there have been good reports from all across the island, including from Frisa & Skye, these were the original stars of Mull Eagle watch and springwatch and although the Mull Eagle watch location had changed for this year, not a lot had been said about this pair, however just recently the local RSPB officers confirmed that they had successfully raised a chick, fantastic news for this pair. We have also had lots of Golden Eagles fledge.

By the time of the next update the season will slowly be starting to wind down and although it hasn’t been as busy up here as usual we all feel very lucky to have had such great weather and sightings and will hopefully welcome many more of you before the season finishes for good.