4 Cetacean Species in One Day
During May, we are mainly running our Seal & Lagoon tour which is the main day tour prior to the basking shark season. The tour starts in Oban and heads out to the Hebridean lagoon around 75km away, and we also have a pick-up option in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. However for a longer experience we also run multi-day hebridean wildlife tours which are a far better way to experience the wildlife and highlights of the area.
Recently there has been a very strong spring or early summer plankton bloom meaning there has been a lot of marine life around. Including basking sharks! See our previous blog on that here. However we had an incredible day for cetaceans at the weekend on our tour that we wanted to write about!
We have a number of cetacean species that visit or are resident our area, some are more common than others however it's very unusual to have all of them in one day. Harbour porpoises, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and minke whales (at least 8 of them!) were all spotted on our seal and lagoon tour which is amazing given the limited time we have out there. We do have a number of other cetacean visitors such as sei, humpback and even sperm whales and we do have a small pod of resident orca which we see occasionally too. We do record all our sightings and keep accurate records on location and numbers, along with any behavoirs or interesting occurances.
We would suggest our longer multi-day tours to have a better chance to see more of these amazing animals, but if you are lucky then you can see them all in one day! Which our lucky passengers at the weekend experiences!
Our top 5 most seen cetaceans are as follows in order of rarity. The top three we would generally see on our longer tours, along porpoises and minkes seen on a lot of day tours. Bottlenose are resident and move around a lot so we see them 5-10x per season and orca, unfortunatety there are only 8 left so we need to be in the rtight place at the right time to encounter them.
1. Harbour Porpoise
2. Minke Whale
3. Common Dolphin
5. Orca (Killer Whale)