Friday, 27 August 2010

Possible First for Biscay on My Last Biscay

Out in Biscay, with the right conditions when there aren't any birds to watch ( which can be for large chunks of the day) the various cetaceans on offer from time to time add a, rather large in some instances, dose of diversity. This trip didn't match up to some of the past trips I've been done with the number of species falling short but we did get good views of Fin Whale, Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Bottle-nose Dolphin, Sperm Whale and Common Dolphin.
I spent much of the first day at the back of the boat away from the crowds to see what I could dig out for myself. Independently finding and identifying the third Fin Whale of the day by it's distinctive blow some 3 miles off the ship late in the afternoon was satisfying. Though just to balance things up I called a possible Pilot Whale, morphed it into a Minke, before someone who knows their whales from the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme took a look at images (not mine) and decided it may have been a Rorqual whale that has never been recorded in Biscay before a Bryde's Whale (pronounced Broo-des) . It will be interesting to see if the ID is confirmed as this species.
Fin Whale + 3 Bottle-nose Dolphin
Bottle-nose Dolphin
Bottle-nose Dolphin

3 comments:

Earl Gray or Dave for short! said...

Let me guess? was it Clive who thought it was a Bryde's Whale!?
Bryde's has never been recorded in Biscay and the nearest place it occurs is the Canaries!
Also Alan you can only ID the whale by the chervons on the head on the animal!!

James said...

Great shot of the BND in the middle. You really get a sense of perspective with the whale in the top image too.

alan tilmouth said...

Hi Dave, though I've not seen them apparently there are image(s) available that show the head ridges and the dark right side of the head, though to be fair they hadn't ruled out Sei Whale completely from the conversations I overheard.