June 2013- an incredible month of sightings

Hi all. What an absolutely incredible month June has been; in the last 2 weeks alone we have had 4 species of dolphin and 3 species of whale reported to the website by members of the public, rounded off beautifully by a probable sighting of 3 Orca (Killer Whales) on Saturday 29th. We can’t confirm due to lack of photographic evidence but spotter Ruth Lea described them as obvious Orca with distinctive black and white colouration, central dorsal fin and moving faster than a group of Minke’s that she also spotted during the trip. There were 3 individuals all moving at pace and breaching; they were seen as Ruth sailed through The Sound entering the marine protected zone in Port Erin.

Here is a summary of June’s opportunistic (public) sightings:

There were a total of 69 sightings comprising 225 individuals.
Harbour porpoise: 29 sightings, 70 individuals
Risso’s dolphin: 16 sightings, 94 individuals
Minke whale: 12 sightings, 24 individuals
Bottlenose dolphin: 2 sightings, 29 individuals
Short Beaked Common Dolphin: 2 sightings, 2 individuals
Humpback whale: 2 sightings, 2 individuals
Fin whale: 1 sighting, 1 individual
Orca: 1 sighting, 3 individuals

The most phenomenal thing about this month is the amount of rare sightings there have been; Humpbacks and Fin whale on the East about 2km off Port St Mary, and the Orcas near the Calf. Not only do we hardly ever hear of these species being seen in Manx waters, but they have all been seen within 2 weeks of one another! This is not forgetting the Bottlenose dolphins which until last summer only entered our waters between October and March. We have heard from fisherman about the amount of Herring at the moment which may help explain the unusual sightings this month.
Furthermore there have been a large amount of Juvenile Risso’s this year including some really tiny calves, they must see our waters as a safe place to raise and teach their youngsters.
What a fabulous place this island is, isn’t it incredible?
The next couple of weeks look to be a real treat, there is a beautiful high pressure system coming in meaning low winds and calm seas! I wonder how July will compare to last month, why not get out there and find out! As always please keep reporting!
Thanks for reading and happy spotting!

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