Risso’s dolphin sighting north of the Calf

Hi everyone, whilst carrying out a land based survey with the Dolpineers today, we were lucky enough to see a couple of Risso’s dolphins just to the north of the Calf. We first spotted just one individual at 11:10, seen approximately 600metres from the mainland, which was just slowly swimming from left to right. We could identify this individual based on the scarring pattern on the right hand side of it’s fin. This particular dolphin is the first dolphin we ever identified and hence is number one in our catalogue and is named General Muck, due to the amount of scars on the fin. The photograph underneath is of General Muck.

 He was later joined by another individual and the two of them were seen for the next 45 minutes, although they tended to be slightly further offshore. In the last couple of years, Risso’s dolphins have been seen to the north of the Calf much more often than in the previous three years, when they tended, at this time of year, to be seen between Onchan and Little Ness, on Marine Drive. This may be due to a change in their habits, probably caused by a change in distribution of their prey, assumed to be squids and octopus. It will be interesting to see whether we have more sightings this year around the Calf of Man. If you happen to be down at the Sound cafe, do have a quick look at the sea and please let me know if you see any of these beautiful animals. Happy spotting!
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