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Sperm Whale at Oban (1 Viewer)

Isurus

Well-known member
A sperm whale spending the best part of 2 days in shallow water?

Chalice Charters FB page said:
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!
 

tyson7

Well-known member
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
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Scotland
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?
 

Isurus

Well-known member
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).
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
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.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
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.

John
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
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.
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
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.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
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.

John
 

JTweedie

Well-known member
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/environment/2012/feb/08/shipping-noises-chronic-stress-whales

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1737/2363
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.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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