Saturday, 10 September 2011


Yesterday evening, during another beautiful sunset over the Firth of Forth, I got a perfect view of Lorna's Species of the Month, a Minke Whale! I have never seen one before and it is a magical experience. As it was such a lovely evening and unusually calm at the Head I decided to chill out on the cliff at the edge of Foul Bay, just northwest of the Lighthouse and enjoy the sunset. The usual suspects were about, juvenile gulls, a couple of Greater Black Backs, the odd Shag doing a fly by and plenty of Gannet commuting to and from the Bass Rock. The sea was so calm despite a slight swell and the high tide was on the turn.

Just out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shadow and a little spray. I saw nothing through the binoculars so thought I was imagining things. Same thing happened again. And then by pure coincidence I managed to get the binoculars on the right spot just in time to see a full blow, followed by a graceful arch of a massive black back through the water showing the small dorsal fin and a final flick of a huge tail fluke! I could not believe my eyes. It was so close I even saw its nostrils (or the whale equivalent!). At that point it was very close in, it was near two white buoys, which I assume were marking the position of some lobster pots. After that it hung around for a good 20 minutes surfacing occassionally. I saw some spray and the tip of its nose but I didn't get anymore amazing views.

What a magical moment and a perfect way to end a wonderful season here.

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