Whale & dolphin week

November 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

First published: 20-Aug-2011

 

I’m on annual leave for a fortnight and my first week has been very good. Because the dolphin season had not been great so far, I spent long hours at Chanonry Point most days. And I couldn’t have planned my holiday better, because dolphin activity has certainly picked up in the last week. There were dolphins about every day and often for quite a long time. And thankfully the weather has improved as well. 

 

Newborn Bottlenose Dolphin There are two very young calves at the moment. One of them is about two weeks old now and the other maybe a month or so. They are so small and especially the youngest still has the fetal folds. These are the vertical lines on their body, caused by being curled up in the womb. The lines disappear after a few weeks.

 

It is not easy to photograph these very young calves. They move about and pop up so quickly. Therefore I was really pleased when I managed to photograph the newborns leaping out of the water yesterday. It doesn't happen often in Scotland that the water is so calm and it has such a beautiful colour.

 

The dolphins did not do much breaching this week. They were busy catching their meal. There were some spectacular chases and some of the salmons they caught were huge. Unbelievable how they manage to swallow these big fish. It sometimes takes quite a while before they have completely swallowed the fish. They often toss them in the air a couple of times, probably to get them in the right position (head down) to swallow them.

 

Bottlenose Dolphin with Salmon

 

On Thursday I went on a boat trip from Gairloch on the Scottish westcoast with some friends. It was a calm day and we had good sightings. We saw a few Minke Whales, porpoises and we had a delightful encounter with a group of Common Dolphins. The dolphins were around the boat for a short while. I didn't get any good close up shots this time, only some breaches a bit further out. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. All in all a successful trip.

 

Minke WhaleMinke whale Common Dolphin

 

 

 


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