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Sperm Whale at Oban

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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 16:07   #1
Dave Pullan
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Sperm Whale at Oban

Latest sightings here:

http://www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk/index.asp


Photos on Chalice Charters facebook page
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 18:33   #2
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Latest sightings here:

http://www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk/index.asp


Photos on Chalice Charters facebook page
A sperm whale spending the best part of 2 days in shallow water?
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Old Sunday 31st March 2013, 20:34   #3
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A sperm whale spending the best part of 2 days in shallow water?
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Whale update..... whale update...

OK folks. We've been talking to British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who are aware of the situation and are monitoring it locally. We have been able to supply high-resolution images of the whale that may help them to identify the individual creature. However, they are reasonably certain that it is a sub-adult male that has simply wandered away from its usual habitat and is now somewhere that it really shouldn't be.

Ideally, the whale will be able to find its own way back to open water and will not sustain any injuries while it is in the harbour. As such they are asking all vessels to KEEP AWAY - there's obviously a lot of local interest but to avoid a tragedy and give the whale its best chance, it needs to be left alone.

If it looks as if it cannot find its way out of the harbour, then they might mount a rescue operation to 'shepherd' it to safer water, in which case Highland Tiger is on stand-by to assist. In the mean time, tempting though it may be, we're doing what is best for the whale and will not be running any trips to see it.
pics on their page are ridiculous!
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Old Monday 1st April 2013, 09:53   #4
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Crikey. Anyone going?
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 19:33   #5
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Crikey. Anyone going?
I have to say I'm tempted but if it is really ill it just doesn't seem right.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 19:38   #6
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Crikey. Anyone going?
I think we're going tonight - just trying to sort out a car!
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 21:26   #7
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I have to say I'm tempted but if it is really ill it just doesn't seem right.
It won't know, Steve: don't not go on that account.

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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 21:29   #8
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Must admit to sharing Steve's feelings, it don't feel good ticking a moribund creature.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 21:53   #9
Steve Babbs
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It won't know, Steve: don't not go on that account.

John
The fact I don't need it helps! You going? Might still be tempted.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 21:58   #10
tyson7
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Driving back from Brighton on sunday night i was going to skip Leeds & go straight to Oban but decided that for me it wouldn't be right unless i knew it was more than likely that there would be a happy ending for the big fella
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 22:19   #11
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A repeat of the London bottle- nosed whale would be rather depressing.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 22:54   #12
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I guess it's possible when Whales appear in this situation, near land and in shallow water that they do it intentionally knowing they are ill and near death.
Rather than an accidental navigation error that ends up killing them.

If that's the case, then attempted rescues or trying to guide them to deeper waters actually serve nothing but to further distress a dying animal. I know it's well meant but perhaps they are best just left completely alone to have their final hours in peace?
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 08:17   #13
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A repeat of the London bottle- nosed whale would be rather depressing.
a long slow dip walking along the thames all evening followed by a kebab and then spending the next day watching on tv with horrific dehli belly as half london saw the thing before the tragic end? Or was that just me? That would be depressing (almost as depressing as the flashbacks you just triggered Steve).
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 18:24   #14
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I was there too. Not the fun family day out I was hoping for, but I suspect it was the biggest twitch the world will ever see!

Still there apparently: so I presume James was successful.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 19:07   #15
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If it is still loitering this weekend I might be tempted.

FWIW my creed is that I won't go for beached animals even if they are breathing, but swimming whales are fair game for a twitch.

I agree with JP's suggesstion that pelagic whales in shallow water are always likely to be unwell before they arrive. They are still hugely charismatic impressive animals and my going to see them doesn't affect their fate one iota. Like, I suspect, the actions of BDMRS or whatever the acronym is.

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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 19:16   #16
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No it won't affect their fate one iota; I'm just not into seeing a dying intelligent mammal. It'll be interesting to get feedback from people who have gone on views and behaviour.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 20:36   #17
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Plenty of footage on the Scottish news tonight.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 21:00   #18
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I'm thinking of going up on Friday to see it if I can get a day off. Train or bus takes about three hours. I have some reservations too, but even if it is sick, I'd still be seeing an animal in a natural environment, even if it's not the kind of place it would normally want to find itself in when healthy. Hopefully it's not been scared into the bay because of the noise from shipping.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 21:24   #19
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I'm thinking of going up on Friday to see it if I can get a day off. Train or bus takes about three hours. I have some reservations too, but even if it is sick, I'd still be seeing an animal in a natural environment, even if it's not the kind of place it would normally want to find itself in when healthy. Hopefully it's not been scared into the bay because of the noise from shipping.
Good luck if you go. BTW if whales got seriously scared by shipping noise, the convoys, depth charges, torpedoes and bombs of WWII would have emptied the Atlantic of cetaceans.

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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 22:02   #20
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Maybe scared isn't the right word, but there's been several suggestions that whales can be affected by noise, for example, the couple of bits of research mentioned here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-stress-whales

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../279/1737/2363
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0029741

The first bit of research I think needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it's clear that more research needs to be done to confirm a definite link other than the somewhat tentative suggestions here.

I must admit I'm just going on what I've read in newspapers and popular science press, I've not read much more than that.
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Old Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 22:59   #21
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I was there for a couple of hours this afternoon. The whale was diving for around 20 minutes at a time and then showing at the surface for a few minutes each time - floating at the surface and with the spout from a blow being visible periodically. Around 5pm, it surfaced and gave a few blows as normal. Then after a few minutes, it became motionless with just the curved back visible and not the longer form that was visible before - and no blows. It remained like this for around 15 minutes before we headed away.

Now I am far from being a marine mammal expert, and the animal was really quite distant at this stage, but this strikes me as behaviour that might be exhibited by a dead whale. I've just read about Sperm Whales "logging" at rest but images I can see online show the whole head and body at the surface (log-like in fact) and I assume they continue to blow? I would love to be wrong, of course..... Did anyone look after this time?

Apologies if this present a dilemma to folks planning a long-distance trip.

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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 09:25   #22
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I was there for a couple of hours this afternoon. The whale was diving for around 20 minutes at a time and then showing at the surface for a few minutes each time - floating at the surface and with the spout from a blow being visible periodically. Around 5pm, it surfaced and gave a few blows as normal. Then after a few minutes, it became motionless with just the curved back visible and not the longer form that was visible before - and no blows. It remained like this for around 15 minutes before we headed away.

Now I am far from being a marine mammal expert, and the animal was really quite distant at this stage, but this strikes me as behaviour that might be exhibited by a dead whale. I've just read about Sperm Whales "logging" at rest but images I can see online show the whole head and body at the surface (log-like in fact) and I assume they continue to blow? I would love to be wrong, of course..... Did anyone look after this time?

Apologies if this present a dilemma to folks planning a long-distance trip.

Nick
Nick - sounds like it was asleep. (I've seen dozing Humpbacks exhibit similar behaviour.)

The carload of Hows, Hanlon and West scored early doors yesterday. I am gripped and gutted.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 09:31   #23
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The carload of Hows, Hanlon and West scored early doors yesterday. I am gripped and gutted.[/quote]

We cetainly did! We were there for c5 hours. During this time the whale was on the surface for a short while, dived & went under for between 30-40 minutes. Plenty of Black Guillemots offering excellent photo opportunities & we also had an Osprey fly over.

A clip from BBC Scotland with "Whale Expert" Dr Mark Hows being interviewed!



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22019068

Cheers, Simon
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 09:48   #24
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Nick - sounds like it was asleep. (I've seen dozing Humpbacks exhibit similar behaviour.)
.
Thankfully you are right - still present this morning per Chalice Charters Faceboolk page.

Nick
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 19:30   #25
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A clip from BBC Scotland with "Whale Expert" Dr Mark Hows being interviewed!



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22019068

Cheers, Simon
Well that's the next Attenborough sorted! Really wish I could have made it up.
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