Monday, August 08, 2005

Biscay again

Yes, peeps, I have been once again having a whale of a time on the ocean wave, guiding once more with The Company of Whales and my friend Matt Hobbs on P&O's Pride of Bilbao (Portsmouth-Bilbao and back). Great conditions on the way south brought us great views of Ocean Sunfish and plenty of Harbour Porpoises. My highlight though was watching Cuvier's Beaked Whales, very close to the ship, and getting just about everyone onto them.

Here are some of our totals:
10 Fin Whales (plus 20 blows likely to be from this species),
1 Minke Whale,
10 Cuvier's Beaked Whales (plus another probable),
1 Pilot Whale,
143 Bottle-nosed Dolphins,
344 Common Dolphins,
321 Striped Dolphins, 28 Harbour Porpoises,
24 Ocean Sunfish,
1 Basking Shark and
1 Taupe Shark.
Seabirds included 27 Great Sheawaters,
5 Cory's Shearwaters,
1 Sooty Shearwater,
3 Balearic Shearwaters,
4 Manx Shearwaters and
10 Storm Petrels.
In Spain, the bird highlights were two Tawny Pipits. Butterflies included Tree Grayling, Red-underwing Skipper, Swallowtail, Adonis Blue and Short-tailed Blue. We also had the obligatory scary close-ups of Wasp Spiders. Here are some of my photos from Santurtzi, Spain on 5.8.05.

Melodious Warbler*

Adonis Blue

Common Blue

Tawny Pipit*

Tree Grayling

Wasp Spider
Nikon Coolpix 880 (*though Kowa TSN-821 + 32xW LER)


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