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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

The Minch is full of life!

We had an unexpectedly glorious day on the water today and saw first-hand what many had been telling us over the past few days since our arrival – that this was already a good year for wildlife in the Minch!

Gannets galore

A virtual carpet of sitting guillemots led us up to Tolsta Head in the north of our study area. Here we were greeted by a swirling mass of high flying gannets, young and old, who were diving and feeding successfully on a huge shoal of fish. Tiny little white-bottomed storm petrels flitted about on the waters’ surface between them and our first minke whale lunged through the middle of the whole giant feast. It was a true spectacle and a wonderful welcome back to the Minch!

On our way to visit the local harbour seal haul out site, a solitary colourful puffin flew past, another reminder of the diversity of life in the Minch. Scottish harbour seal populations are suffering terrible declines throughout large parts of Scotland, but the decline in the Western Isles is slow but gradual. We’re pleased to report that there were many young pups in the group we observed.

Life on the rocks

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we were thrilled when our boat skipper, Lewis, pointed out an otter, completely unaware of us and munching heartily on a tasty looking wrasse. And then there was another – our first ever pair of otters on Lewis!

Pull the otter one!

In addition to all these incredible encounters, we successfully deployed our first piece of acoustic equipment for 2012 and we retrieved another that had been sat in Loch Erisort monitoring porpoise movements over the winter.

It’s a sugar kelp jungle out there!