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 2011/12

Our winter sightings are fewer as the seas can be rough, particularly this winter, and the fins are harder to spot in the waves. Most of our sightings were from ferries or land and we had 20 sightings, 2 of Bottle nose dolphins and 18 of harbour porpoise. Phil Cheek,who records lots of sightings for us, recorded 6 different Harbour porpoises from one ferry journey out of Brodick in the Clyde. Well spotted Phil! One lucky boater saw a group of 6 dolphins in January feeding off Colonsay and described them as 'fishing and bow riding. deep dives. blowing bubbles. jumping. fluking. "having fun". The cetaceans are all still there in the winter, just are harder to spot!

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