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2nd October 2019

Survey Report for Uig-Tarbert/Lochmaddy

The morning crossing from Uig to Lochmaddy was quite busy.  Soon after leaving Uig we had a great view of a white-tailed sea eagle flying past the bridge.  Our first mammal sighting was as we passed by Waternish Point where a minke whale showed itself briefly.   Not long after a group of 15 common dolphins were seen some distance away but weren't interested in approaching the ferry. 

There was obviously plenty of food about as there were a large number of feeding seabirds.  As we approached Lochmaddy a huge feeding frenzy of gannets attracted our attention.  Despite working hard we were only able to pick out some unidentified dolphins but there was a feeling that there may have been tuna in with the mix.

2 harbour porpoise also appeared beside the ship just before we entered Lochmaddy harbour.

Our best sighting of the day appeared as we left Lochmaddy on the return leg.  We weren't long out of harbour before a group of 10 Risso's dolphins showed as they passed the ship, with a couple of youngsters in tow.  Later on during the crossing we also recorded another group of 6 common dolphins and a minke whale and porpoise off the point again.

The afternoon sailing to Tarbert, despite a sea state of 2, drew a complete blank, even the feeding seabirds had left us.  Yet on the final leg of the day 4 harbour porpoise and 13 common dolphin were recorded.  Similar to the dolphins in the morning, none of them were attracted to ship and seemed busy hunting.

This was the last Marine Mammal Survey of the season on MV Hebrides so I would like to say a big thank you to the Captains and crew for being so accommodating and supportive of us this year.

Marine Mammals Seen:

  • Harbour porpoise 7
  • Common dolphin 35
  • Risso's dolphin 10
  • Unidentified dolphin 10
  • Grey seal 1

Birds Seen:

  • Birds
  • Guillemot
  • Gannet
  • Great black backed gull
  • Herring gull
  • Kittiwake
  • White tailed eagle
  • Great skua
  • Shag
  • Storm petrel
  • Arctic skua
  • Grey heron
  • Eider

Survey Team Members:

Andy Gilbert, Jan Storie, Bill Anderson, Liz Taylor.

List for 2nd October 2019

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