Survey Reports

2018-04-22 - Oban–Tiree–Coll–Oban–Colonsay-Oban

Survey details

Survey route: Oban–Tiree–Coll–Oban–Colonsay-Oban

Company: Caledonian MacBrayne

Sea region: Minches & Western Scotland

Survey start date: 2018-04-22

Number of nights: Day sailing

^ Library image - harbour porpoise

Weather: Overcast, some rain, sea state 1-5

This survey encoutered all conditions as it sailed through sheltered areas like the Sound of Mull, and open seas around Coll, Tiree and Colonsay.

It started off encouragingly with a great sighting of a couple of harbour porpoise, one of which was a calf, beside the MV Lord of the Isles, as we cruised down the Sound of Mull.  It was relatively quiet as we headed out to Coll and Tiree with one fleeting glimpse of a harbour porpoise as the sea states rose.  We watched common seals in Coll harbour and in Tiree enjoyed a few hundred brent geese flying over the island, a crisp white glaucous gull and great northern diver fishing in the harbour. 

The survey involves a 45 minute stop over in Oban where we quickly grabbed some food and were back onboard for the afternoon and evening sailing to Colonsay.  Unfortunately condiitons deteriorated throughout the afternoon and apart from the ever present manx shearwaters, we didn't pick up anything else of note.  Despite this the new surveyors were cheerful to the last on what was a very long days survey. 

Thank you to the crew of the Lord of the Isles and to CalMac ferries for allowing us to undertake the survey.  

Marine Mammals

Harbour porpoise x3

Common seals x2

Birds

Manx shearwaters, Guillemot, Black guillemot, Eider ducks, Common scoter, Herring gull, Common gull, Great black backed gull, Lesser black backed gull, Glaucous gull, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Northern gannet, Shag, Cormorant, Brent geese (large group), Great northern divers

Survey team members

Andy Gilbert, Jane Dodd, Denise Richs, Beth Harvey.