The first Risso’s of the year 01/05/13

Hi everyone, after a fairly dismal few months of marine mammal sightings, at least for the Isle of Man, things are finally starting to look up, with our first sighting of what is my favourite Manx dolphin species, the Risso’s dolphin. The group was reported to us by Hannah Curtis, from just south of Port Soderick at 16:15 and she described a group of six animals, including some junveniles, travelling slowly to the south. We caught up with the group at Port Grenaugh and watched them for about thirty minutes. These individuals were unmistakeably Risso’s, as they had huge amounts of scarring over their bodies and dorsal fins, making them almost white in colour. This is typical of the species, with younger individuals appearing darker grey.

          As the dolphins were clearly heading towards Langness, it made sense to drive down there and half an hour later, we got a few glimpses of the group there, still moving at their leisurely pace southwards. We expected that we would see them later at Port St Mary, but we did not, so either the group went offshore or turned and went back north. It was a fantastic sighting and thanks to Hannah for reporting them to us. Hopefully, this will be the first of many this season. As always, if anyone does see Risso’s or any other cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise), please let us know either on this website or on our Facebook page. Happy spotting!

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