Soon after we accessed the bridge and left Loch Broom the team picked up a couple of harbour porpoise in good sea conditions. Five minutes later we were treated to 16 common dolphins coming in to the ship. Fifteen munites after an additional 4 common dolphins were recorded feeing in the distance but these made no attempt to come approach the MV Loch Seaforth. Despite the busy start of the survey we only picked up another 3 harbour porpoise before reaching Stornoway at lunchtime.
Twenty minutes after leaving Stornoway harbour another 23 commons were seen feeding. Soon after that, in sea state 1-2, we logged 11 harbour porpoise, 3 of which were feeding. Unfortunately the sea state rose to 3-4 for the rest of the crossing and that was the last of our sightings. Even so we left with a good tally of porpoises and dolphins.
Many thanks to the crew of Loch Seaforth for welcoming us and to CalMac for supporting our conservation work.
Harbour porpoise 16
Common dolphin 45
Guillemot, razorbill, common gull, herring gull, great skua, Arctic skua, kittiwake, fulmar, gannet, Arctic tern and common tern.
Andy Gilbert, David Lambie, Linda Wallace