Many, many Minke’s

Hi everyone well finally we have had some relatively decent weather (I was even wearing a t-shirt last week!) and despite a real lack of dolphin sightings in Manx waters, our research boat and many other boats have been lucky enough to have lots of sightings of Minke whales. A particular hotspot for them appears to be about 5 miles or so south of Port St Mary and the Calf, with five being spotted there at the same time from our second research vessel, “Girl Pat”. It is more common at this time of year for the Minke whales to be offshore from the west coast, where there are most likely to be herring. It is also quite early in the year to be seeing this many Minke’s, although this is a pattern being repeated in other parts of the British Isles, for example in the Hebrides.

 We were also lucky enough to have seen a number of juvenile Minke’s and one definite calf, no bigger than a Bottlenose dolphin (15 foot or less), which we have never seen in Manx waters before. A large number of Minke’s suggests a large number of small schooling type fish, perhaps Herring, Mackerel or Sand-eels, which in turn suggests it will be a good year for cetaceans as a whole. So, when the next spell of calm weather arrives, potentially on Sunday or the start of next week, get your binoculars out and see if you can’t spot a Minke from land. The best spots at this time of year will be Niarbyl or either side of the Sound and remember to report all of your sightings, even if it is a sighting of one porpoise for one second. Thanks to Haley Dolton, one of this years dolphineers for the amazing photo, beautifully showing the two blow holes that all baleen whales have. Thanks in advance and happy spotting!
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