Saturday, 31 August 2013

40+ White Beaked Dolphins

Continued from the Not 1 but 5 Minke Whale blog...

We headed a little further out after seeing the last Minke and  we passed 2 Sooty Shearwaters a few more Manx Shearwaters and then nothing. We only saw a few passing Gannets but that was it, until we had 2 White Beaked Dolphins arrive from nowhere. They played with the bow of the boat for 2 minutes but then disappeared.

We looked around a bit more and we were just about to give up and go home when in the distance we saw few Gannets starting to dive and then we saw a few Dolphins jump clean out of the water.

As we looked more and more turned up. There was a least 40+ heading straight for us.

They seemed to be really excited to see us, as they  ignore the fish the Gannets were diving for. At first we were not moving and they seemed to get bored straight away but the second I started to move the boat that's when they got excited and started to entertain us.

This is one hell of a sight and it gives you is real buzz inside.

To be so close to this was just amazing and for them to put a real show on for us made it even more spacial.

I was excited, the guests were excited and even Bud my trusty Collie was excited to as you can hear him.

Over all this was by far the best trip this year so enjoy the pictures and some video footage. 


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Mental Manx

In all my years of going around the Farne Islands I have never seen as many Manx Shearwaters resting on the water. Yes we do get large numbers but never as many just resting on the water.

We have had small groups and very large groups and today was one of the large groups.

We dropped or guests on the Inner Farne and went for a look for the Baleric Sherwaters and we did find 1 all on it's own, which was really nice and we did see 3 together the day before, which I think is a record for the Farnes but I'm still waiting to find out. The Farnes has had more than 3 before but not 3 resting on the water waiting to be photographed.

Anyway we looked a little further ahead and saw a massive flock resting on the water. All I heard from Andy my crewman was "Bloody Hell that goes further than my Bins can see".  I think we had it in our heads we would see 200 or so but so many and altogether was just out of this world.

We slowly got closer and closer and then started to count and count some more. We had over 1000 altogether and over the last few days you could not get near them, but today they did not want to move at all. I was clicking away when Andy said that I had to look over the side of the boat. There in the water were loads of dead sandeels. We both looked at each other and said that's why they are not flying away as they are full to the brim with sandeels. 

This is when you can just take as many pictures as you like or just sit back and watch them. Today we did both.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Baleric Beauty

I heard this morning that their were loads of Manx Shearwaters near the Farnes and I thought to myself that I should go out and have a look before the day starts, but things never go to plan and I got delayed so there was no chance I was going to make it out and back in time.

After kicking myself during the first trip I realized I was on a landing trip and I could drop my guests off into the Island and go and have a little look. A few friends were onboard the boat and they were up for it to, so off we went.

We were just north of the Megstone and we came across 10 Manxies on the water, then a bit further north we spotted 53.  This was a great start and hopefully more to come.

After a few pictures I watched them fly to far away so we decided to do a big circle and head back towards the Inner Farne.

We headed east first and I noticed a few more but after looking a little bit harder I noticed not just a few but over 160 resting on the water. We slowly cruised towards them and then I noticed a larger, brown, dirty looking bird amongst the Manx Shearwaters and I first thought it was a Baleric Shearwater but then I was not sure as I kinda got myself a little to excited.  The rest of the gang missed it but I could not check my camera as its broken and the screen is all cracked. The one of the gang said was this it. I grabbed the camera and looked at the screen and oh boy it was a Baleric. Well those were polite words.

Then I started to doubt myself....What if....I can't be....Can I look again...

None of the gang are birders and I just needed someone to tell me that I'm not dreaming. A quick phone call to the Head Ranger David Steel to see if I was right and then a huge sigh of relief. "Get In"

I was really pleased and I could not wait to get home to see if my pictures came out okay.

I was lucky as I got a good few and then I realized I do really need a new camera.

I have some good one's of the Manx Shearwaters but they can wait for now as this beauty takes centre stage

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Not 1 but 5 Minke's

We popped out the other day to try and find some Minke Whales and boy did we.

We had not been long out of the harbour when we encountered a very large Minke right beside the boat. As we followed it along another pop up on the other side of the boat. At first we thought it was the same one but then they both came up together each side of the boat. One was much larger than the other then 2 minutes later another surfaced a bit of to the left of the boat. The guests said that's 3 Minke Whales but then another shouted "No it's not, it's 4 as we have one behind us".

Umberliveable...... 1 Minke is great but to have 4 at the same time all round the boat was just like winning the lottery, well not quit but i was just stunning.

We followed them for about half an hour until they disappeared.

In all that excitement we also had 1 Sooty Shearwater flying north and 17 Manx Shearwaters feeding with other birds.

We turned and headed a little further out passing Manx after Manx and in total at the end of the trip we has seen 53 and we would had definitely missed more.

A little further out we can across yet another Minke but this time it went straight down never to be seen again.

Here are some pictures I manged to get but that was not the end of the trip as I have more to come in a later blog.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Whale of a time

I left the harbour a couple of weeks ago and noticed a Minki Whale just outside the harbour entrance. This was a small Minki, about a 1 year old I think as it was very curious and came right up to the boat and even nudging the side of the hull. After looking at me for a few moments it turned and headed out to sea.

I never seen it again but I did get a few pictures to be very happy with.

Even though it looks like just water, you can still the the outline of the Minki underneath the water. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Harbour Pospoise

I got a few Harbour Porpoise pictures over the last few days and we are now starting to see them nearly everyday. We have seen this one with the nick in the fin a few years running now and noticed a young one with them to. It's always quite in June as it's their breeding season and you might see the odd one or two, but from now onwards the sightings tend to build up.

It has been a great year so far for Cetacean's and I hope to see more and more everyday as they are just amazing sight.