A truly epic wildlife experience on our last Kyle of Lochalsh survey! — Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

A truly epic wildlife experience on our last Kyle of Lochalsh survey! — Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

OUR EXPEDITION SURVEYS COLLECT DATA ON WHALES, DOLPHINS, PORPOISES AND BASKING SHARKS IN HEBRIDEAN SEAS. OUR BIODIVERSITY OFFICER, BECKY, SHARES THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LATEST SURVEY ON BOARD SILURIAN

At the start of the survey whilst discussing our intended route Quentin, our skipper, said that he was going to try and make sure that this trip would an epic experience. ‘What exactly do you mean by epic?’, one of the new volunteers on board Lindy nervously murmured. We all laughed as Quentin told her he was referring to the overall experience and safety would of course be the top priority. Reassured, we set off after a morning of science training, involving spotting techniques, species ID and data recording.

With settled weather predicted, we headed north with sightings of porpoise early on, and our first dolphin sightings of the trip coming into our anchorage. The next day we had an early start, as we knew we had a long day ahead of us, but boy was it worth it! Not only did we spot two groups of Risso’s dolphins, with some individuals breaching right out of the water, we also anchored in one of the most magical islands in the Hebrides. The Monach Isles, located to the west of North Uist, is home to one of the largest grey seal colonies in the world, with 10,000 grey seals using these islands each year to have their pups and mate. Anchoring there was an incredible experience and we spent a magical evening surrounded by hundreds of bobbing seals!

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