Whale of a time

Whale 2

Distant Minke Whale off the island (Fife in background)

Whale 1

BreakIng the surface

Wednesday 24th June comments: What a glorious day it has been on the Isle of May (and everywhere else in the UK?) as at long last the summer appears to have kick started back into life after a spell of fog/rain. The good weather and light winds have resulted in calm conditions across the island and the sea state has been virtually flat (looking more like a mill pond than the north sea).

As a result of these conditions it is much easier (as observers) to spot things which break the surface and today was a noteworthy day. Early morning off the north end of the Island (looking towards Fife) two Harbour Porpoise were seen and soon after four Bottle-nosed Dolphins were found. However the excitement did not stop there as just after 9am a Minke Whale broke the surface much to everyone’s delight. The animal slowly moved west up the Forth and it was the first record of the season. As July-August are the peak months to see these animals around May waters, it’s a good start to the cetacean season.

These sightings show the importance of the surrounding waters around the island as they provide the fish for the vast numbers of seabirds to survive on whilst also supporting a huge variety of life from whales and dolphins to seals and much more. We must protect and conserve the valuable habitats like the Isle of May but also the ecosystem that is the North Sea and the life it brings.

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