2018-07-31 - Aberdeen–Lerwick
With reports of orca around Shetland we were eager to get onboard the Hjaltland and start surveying. Harbour and grey seal were seen on the way out of Aberdeen and a beautiful Minke whale surfaced and blew 3 times before disappearing again.
The next morning we got great views of seals hauled out as we travelled along the Shetland coast. We passed around the Island of Noss and came into Lerwick from the north, this gave us great views of the gannet colony on Noss.
Sumburgh head still had numerous puffins and fulmars, the latter feeding their large fluffy chicks, which sat exposed on the cliffs. Most of the other sea birds had fledged chicks and were back out to sea.
Harbour porpoise and unidentified dolphin (likely white-beaked) were spotted on the evening out of Lerwick and we enjoyed views of Fair isle as the watch drew to a close.
The following morning we were welcomed back to Aberdeen by a pod of 16 bottlenose dolphins (including 3 calfs). They displayed a range of behaviours and even from the Bridge these dolphins looked huge. A great round off to the survey, as ever we were thankful to the crew for allowing us access to the Bridge and appreciated hearing about their cetacean encounters this year.
Survey team members
Ben Jones, Chris Whitell, Ellie Adams, Tracy Guild