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.

January 2009

On the 2nd January what appeared to be a lone bottlenose dolphin, and possibly her calf, were sighted near Corryvreckan. The dolphin followed the boat on its course to Scarba, bow riding and showing it’s under belly. On the 3rd January twelve bottlenose dolphins, ten adults and two calves were reported in Oban Bay. The animals were within 200 metres of the shore at both the North and South piers. As the MV Isle of Mull approached the dolphins headed off to meet the ferry and three or four were seen to bow ride. A few days later, on the 6th January, five adult bottlenose dolphins were spotted in Salan Bay, Isle of Mull. The group were leaping and splashing about, seemingly not travelling in any direction. This succession of bottlenose dolphin sightings may imply that these were the same individuals, but without photographic identification we may only speculate.

January also witnessed several large whale parts wash ashore on Kintyre, including a tail with flukes measuring 12 foot from tip to tip. The whale was thought to be a sperm whale; the cause of death is unknown.

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