Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bluetooth connection or Bluebell connection?

Can you get a better connection than from a wild untouched woodland?...

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Cetacean sensation...

Some true marine magic in the first few weeks of the season with Sea Life Surveys in Hebridean waters with incredible encounters of both minke whales and interacting common dolphins.

The video below is a stunning sequence of interacting common dolphins captured on Monday 10th, with a lovely soundtrack to go with it. Great work Jimbo.






Thursday, 1 May 2014

Lunging into the new season...

On Tuesday I had yet another memorable nature spectacle from the deck of Sula Beag...

We got underway from Tobermory at 0930 and after encountering a number of harbour porpoise and a white-tailed eagle on our way out to open seas we got onto our first minke whale of the season showing typical early season behaviour. After observing the animal for 20 minutes it performed a head lunge, where the animal appears to breach but does not fully emerge from the water! Shortly after we tracked a large amount of feeding shearwaters and ended up sitting with the engines off surrounded by at least 5 minke whales in close proximity! behaviour included lunge feeding, side-lunge feeding and another head lunge! It was an explosive feeding frenzy and it was like we were in a TV nature documentary receiving the live show!
Minutes afterwards we got onto a group of 25-30 common dolphins which were riding our bow and staying with us even when we were stationary! We had lunch surrounded by a healthy number of common and grey seals and admired small shoals of sandeels in the shallows. Other species viewed today were gannets, great skuas, puffins, great northern divers, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills. 

This was the first time I had seen this minke whale behaviour in five seasons covering these waters. I heard all about the 'glory days' in the last few years but so lucky to experience the real thing. It was a key sign of food abundance at the surface and along with recording sandeel shoals and a highly rich plankton sample it was promising early season data collection. A mild winter and a warm settled spring could well be the reason for this and lets hope it is a sign of things to come...

One of the best moments with wildlife that I will have...Nature is a wonderful thing...

Isle of Mull / SLS - second home/hame/yam

I am back on the isle of Mull for my fifth season with the marine tourism/research based operator Sea Life Surveys. I feel very much part of the SLS family and proud to be assigned as head guide for this season.
I love the tradition and history involved with the company and the inspirational story of how Richard Fairbairns (Popz) triggered awareness, research and cetacean based marine tourism in the Hebrides over 30 years ago. A company created through pure passion, curiosity and an admiration for the natural world.
I love the adventurous nature of the marine excursions and the challenge of tracking a wide variety of species in their own environment whatever the conditions may be from flat calm sunshine to cold, wet and windy storm levels. 
I love having the opportunity to enthuse the thousands of guests that we have on board throughout the season. If I manage to encourage just one person to spend more time with nature then that would be worth more than any pay cheque. 
I love the research involved like identifying individual whales, been on first name terms with them and also seeing the changes to a concentrated area of sea throughout a season. 



Follow updates throughout the year on our Captains log - http://www.sealifesurveys.com/captainslog/

Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sealifesurveys

Book a trip here - http://sealifesurveys.com/explore/book-now

Follow the movements of the satellite tagged basking sharks from 2013 - http://www.wildlifetracking.org/index.shtml?project_id=839&dyn=1375174097