Friday, August 13, 2004

Biscay whale-watching

Last weekend I was guiding with my friend Rob Still (with a fantastic group of people) on a whale-watching and seabirds trip with The Company of Whales across Biscay. The ferry the Pride of Bilbao heads out from Portsmouth to Bilbao and back over four days. We had an awesome trip with record breaking diversity of cetacean species seen (13 species), more than 100 Fin Whales and some exceptionally rare species seen. For the full trip report (and how to get on one of these brilliant trips) follow the links though the www.companyofwhales.co.uk website.
In summary, in more than 50 encounters we saw:
Fin Whale, 107
Minke Whale, 3
Pygmy Sperm Whale, 3
Sperm Whale, 5
Northern Bottlenose Whales, 4
Cuvier's Beaked Whale, 5,
Killer Whale, 1
Pilot Whale, 26,
Bottle-nosed Dolphin, 190
Risso's Dolphin, 8
Common Dolphin, 160
Striped Dolphin, 100,
Harbour Porpoise, 12
We also saw a few Little Shearwaters and about 20 Cory's Shearwaters, loads of huge tuna and about 12 Ocean Sunfish.
In Spain, we walk up a hill above the port of Santurtzi. It's great for wildlife and we saw quite a few Red-backed Shrikes and the odd Wryneck, Fan-tailed Warblers and the like. We also had a few invertebrate treats, including Clouded yellow Butterfly and some big, scary Wasp Spiders. Here are the best pics I took on the trip:

Juvenile Red-backed Shrike, Santurtzi, Spain (9.8.04).


Clouded Yellow, Santurtzi, Spain (9.8.04).


The magnificent Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi, Santurtzi, Spain (9.8.04).


The rear end of a Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi, Santurtzi, Spain (9.8.04).


Yes they are big, hairy and scary! Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi, Santurtzi, Spain (9.8.04).

1 comment:

Alicia Bennett said...

Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I really enjoy how it makes such good reading.

I'll come by again.

Regards,

birdwatching birds