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Fin Whales off Lewis

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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 10:22   #1
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Fin Whales off Lewis

Up to ten Fin Whales are presently being watched from Tiumpan Head, Lewis. They are distant. (Info from Facebook)
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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 10:53   #2
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Wow! That must be over 10% of the North Atlantic population?
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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 17:41   #3
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North Atlantic population of fin whale is estimated to be over 50,000 https://nammco.no/topics/fin-whale/

If you go offshore into deeper water west of Scotland (and other western parts of the UK) fin whale are pretty numerous - I've certainly had more than 10 on several of days of survey out there.
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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 21:19   #4
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North Atlantic population of fin whale is estimated to be over 50,000 https://nammco.no/topics/fin-whale/
I'm extremely dubious of 'estimates' made by organisations with links to whaling - they want over-inflated numbers to justify killing some. Rather than estimates, they should use actual counts.
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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 22:07   #5
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The estimates come from scientific surveys such as SCANS, that have no affiliation with whaling, so the numbers are sound. The modelled estimates are much more useful than the actual counts when it comes to trying to assess wide scale populations at sea. There’s not very much survey effort out there so simple counts would present massive underestimates compared to the modelled estimates.
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Old Sunday 7th July 2019, 22:11   #6
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If it makes it more palatable, there’s an estimate of over 46,000 in the North Atlantic from WWF - http://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/e...out/fin_whale/
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 12:11   #7
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Wow! That must be over 10% of the North Atlantic population?
I've only done Biscay the once, from the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry but we had over 100 fin whales. That was back in 2001. It took until last year for me to see one in British waters. I would love to get out to those continental shelf waters north & west of Scotland, if only to finally see white-sided dolphin, but there are not many options - all involve a considerable investment in time and money on survey ships!

I considered a day trip to St Kilda this summer as I have a day or two spare on the West coast but not sure how often the dolphins are seen from the ferries. Will probably opt for a trip around the Small Isles/ Inner Hebs looking for baskers and minkes, at least I can take my son on that and he'll love it.
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 13:49   #8
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The minch crossings can be great for cetaceans - White-sided dolphin would be very unlikely but common dolphin, minke and harbour porpoise would be quite likely, especially if you get a nice calm day. Basking sharks a distinct possibility too, and of course there's always the off chance of something special like a humpback, killer whale or pilot whale, or Risso's or white-beaked dolphin.

Not sure if these areas are any better than the small isles etc in terms of encounter rate, but there's a much better chance of getting something a bit tasty on the minch crossings.
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 16:50   #9
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I've only done Biscay the once, from the Portsmouth - Bilbao ferry but we had over 100 fin whales.
Same here (except Plymouth - Santander) and thought myself very lucky to get 8 or 9 Fin Whales
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 18:46   #10
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John Coe and Aquarius seen at Gairloch today.
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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 20:35   #11
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John Coe and Aquarius seen at Gairloch today.
In English please?

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Old Monday 8th July 2019, 20:58   #12
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In English please?

John
Killer Whales - I didn't know either, but a 3 second google search produced this:
https://hwdt.org/news/john-coe-and-a...ck-in-hebrides
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 07:40   #13
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The killer whales went north/west past Ruah Red lighthouse when I was staying there on the 29th of June. However the couple who saw them at 5pm didn’t bother to tell anyone else until 8pm.


Tomato Head of lewis next to the Bridge To No Where is the best place that I have seen cetaceans from land. I think even my 4month old son could see the minkes as we looked down on them from the cliffs. I’ll put he video on YouTube on post a link.

Staying are Red Ruah Lighthouse, Tolsta/Tiumpan Head on Lewis or Stoer Head Lighthouse give great opportunities for seeing cetaceans from land. I’ve seen humpbacks on 4 trips with Hebridean whale cruises going out from Gairloch. But when going out with the same company from Lewis(now the same boat/trips from Lewis are run by Hebridean Adventures) we just saw Minkes & a Risso’s Dolphin was a nice bonus.

The best place for whales from my trips is Whitby. I’ve seen some very acrobatic Humpbacks from there and a Fin Whale did a full circle around the boat on one trip. 30+ minke whales on one trip can be had during September off Whitby. However there haven’t been any confirmed sightings of whales other than minkes during the peak whale watching month of September for 3-4 years which is a real shame. Maybe due to the 6 ditch super-trawlers that turned up the other year, the large numbers of scallopers that have been there during the past few years and maybe whaling in Iceland/Norway
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 11:52   #14
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Tolsta Head as opposed to tomato head

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The killer whales went north/west past Ruah Red lighthouse when I was staying there on the 29th of June. However the couple who saw them at 5pm didn’t bother to tell anyone else until 8pm.


Tomato Head of lewis next to the Bridge To No Where is the best place that I have seen cetaceans from land. I think even my 4month old son could see the minkes as we looked down on them from the cliffs. I’ll put he video on YouTube on post a link.

Staying are Red Ruah Lighthouse, Tolsta/Tiumpan Head on Lewis or Stoer Head Lighthouse give great opportunities for seeing cetaceans from land. I’ve seen humpbacks on 4 trips with Hebridean whale cruises going out from Gairloch. But when going out with the same company from Lewis(now the same boat/trips from Lewis are run by Hebridean Adventures) we just saw Minkes & a Risso’s Dolphin was a nice bonus.

The best place for whales from my trips is Whitby. I’ve seen some very acrobatic Humpbacks from there and a Fin Whale did a full circle around the boat on one trip. 30+ minke whales on one trip can be had during September off Whitby. However there haven’t been any confirmed sightings of whales other than minkes during the peak whale watching month of September for 3-4 years which is a real shame. Maybe due to the 6 ditch super-trawlers that turned up the other year, the large numbers of scallopers that have been there during the past few years and maybe whaling in Iceland/Norway
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 16:22   #15
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Killer Whales - I didn't know either, but a 3 second google search produced this:
https://hwdt.org/news/john-coe-and-a...ck-in-hebrides
Cheers mate, I was rushing at the time and didn't think that clearly!

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Old Tuesday 16th July 2019, 11:55   #16
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Fin Whales getting seen by Hebridean whale cruises on yesterday’s trip (I think)

The North Minch seems to have exploded this year with cetaceans. But you get your good years and bad years so it doesn’t mean that it will be like this next year unfortunately.
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