Basking shark
Basking shark

Monthly Sightings Reports

HWDT’s Community Sightings Network encourages residents, local wildlife operators and visitors to the area to report their sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises to HWDT. This information is important because it contributes to our understanding of where and when particular species occur. Report your sighting HERE.

Each month HWDT publishes a summary report of the sightings recorded via our Community Sightings Network. In summer we receive the greatest number of sightings while winter is a quiet time. This is partly due to the number of species present but also reflects the sea state and number of people on the water watching for whales, dolphins and porpoises. In winter, fewer people are watching and the sea state more frequently makes sightings difficult, or even impossible. Also non-resident species have migrated for the winter. At this time of year HWDT receives more strandings reports than at other time as storms can wash animals ashore. These seasonal variations will be reflected in our reports.

Select the monthly report you wish to view from the panel on the left of this page.

July 2008

During the month of July we have received reports of some large visitors being sighted in the Hebrides. A group on a guided walk sighted what is thought to have been a sperm whale logging at the water surface near Stoer Head. Another suspected sighting of a large cetacean was south west of Kerrera. The animal’s tail fluke was seen as it dived and from the description of it’s behaviour is thought to have been a humpback whale. Another sighting, which can be confirmed from images, is that of a fin whale, the second largest cetacean in the world. This animal was sighted 3 miles north west of Rona and is the first report of a fin whale in the area since 2006.

Sightings of our usual resident species and summer visitors have continued with bottlenose dolphins being sighted under the Skye bridge, basking sharks in Loch Fyne and minke whales feeding at the Corryvreckan. Groups of over thirty common dolphins have also been reported bow riding between Coll and Tiree.

Killer whale sightings have also continued in July with an adult male and female being sighted off Toe head, Harris by a couple on holiday. A few days later a single adult male was reported off Canna. During our most recently completed research trip volunteers onboard Silurian encountered killer whales off Neist Point, Skye. Photographs taken during this encounter have allowed the animals to be identified as Floppy Fin, Aquarius, Nicola, Lulu and Puffin. The following day eight animals were sighted off Tiumpan Head, Lewis. The animals in this sighting may well have been the same as those encountered by Silurian, joined by three others, but as we do not have any photographs of the encounter this cannot be confirmed.

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