Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A spot of cetacean searching

Well it was far too nice a day for being in the office so Lorna and I decided to head out for a coastal walk and a bit of seawatching to see what was about. There have been quite a few reports of cetacean sightings lately (whales, dolphins, porpoises) so we were hopeful that we might be lucky.

Conditions were a wee bit windy for ideal seawatching but visibility was excellent with Berwick Law and Bass Rock well visible on the horizon. We noticed several large aggregations of seabirds on the surface which are usually a good indication of the prescence of cetaceans. This is because cetaceans hunt for small fish and force them up towards the surface and seabirds take advantage of this 'rounding up' for a feeding feast.

Despite watching for a good while we sadly didn't spot any cetaceans. There was however plenty of other interesting things to see: gannets; fulmars; kittiwake fledglings practicing their new flying skills; razorbills and on the walk back hundreds of butterflies and wildflowers so it was a great day out on St Abb's Head National Nature Reserve.

If you fancy trying a bit of cetacean searching yourself why not join myself, Lorna and other volunteers at our 'Searching for Cetaceans' event on 7th August? We will be watching from the south side of the lighthouse compound at St Abb's Head from 11am - 4pm. The event is totally free, just drop in any time and help us search!

Here is a photo of Lorna showing how it's done!

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