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.

Winter 2010/11

Winter has been a very quiet season with only 25 sightings reported between October and March.

Harbour porpoises have been sighted all year, being the species with the most sightings recorded (13) during the winter.  Most sightings were reported from the Clyde area and the Isle of Skye as well as Loch Duich.  As we do not get many sightings from the Clyde we are more than happy to know that the animals there are still around even in the winter.

Basking sharks were reported twice during October. Both sightings were made on the west coast of Tiree.

Common Dolphins were also reported twice in October. A group of 100 individuals between Coll and the Treshnish Isles were reported to be common dolphins. In addition, another sighting on the Isle of Skye was made at the end of the month.

Minke Whales sightings occurred on 3 occasions in October. At the start of the month one animal was seen between Arisaig and the Isle of Eigg. On the 14th of October 3 animals were recorded off the Mull of Kintyre with another sighting in the same area of one animal at the end of the month.

October in general was a good month to spot wildlife, what made it even more special was the sighting of a fin whale and a humpback whale.  On the 16th of October a fin whale was reported off Erradale.  On the same day a humpback whale was spotted of Sandaig, west coast of Tiree.

One bottlenose sightings was recorded for October off the coast of Jura on the 14th.

In March two bottlenose sightings have been recorded. One was off the east coast of Scotland, off Stonehaven.  The sighting has been forwarded to the local Stonehaven Dolphin Research Group.

The second sighting was very special for us in the HWDT office as it happened right here in the bay on St. Patricks Day. A pod of approximately 7 dolphins visited us here in Tobermory. We had the chance to go out on a boat and take photographs of the 45 minute encounter. Photo-ID is currently under way to determine if any of our animals were in that group.

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