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Sperm Whale at Oban (1 Viewer)

nicklittlewood

Well-known member
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
 

JCL

Well-known member
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.
 

snlw

Simon
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
 

MarkHows

Mostly Mammals
Plenty of more photos on my flickr site


Mark
 

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JTweedie

Well-known member
I was there today. Got there around 11.30 on the train from Glasgow - the whale first appeared about 20 minutes later. It spent all day over the opposite side of the bay, I've taken a few pictures and added them to my Flickr page, but they don't reveal much more than the photos above, apart from a few beside a boat for scale comparison, e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8623461652/in/photostream/lightbox/

After my first sighting, which only lasted a few minutes, it dived under for 30 minutes, then was on the surface again for a few minutes, and then repeated the 30 minute dive. Later in the day it came up and spent a bit longer on the surface, with a couple of shorter dives of only a few minutes in between, and then after that was down for well over an hour.

Interesting watching the spout, I could see the very clear angle that it came out. Its body just seemed to go on forever! And everytime it prepared for a dive, it seemed to be side-on as that's the way the tail was.

Decent shots with the bins, although I would expect a scope would be better.

The boat in my shots appeared to be getting too close to the whale, but other photos appear to show it moving away from the whale.
 
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Richard G

Well-known member
Still there yesterday. We heard about it on the ferry going to Mull the previous Saturday but no sign then.

Saw it from the ferry coming back so once we got the car off went round where there were better views, although by the time we parked up it had just dived!! Although we had a return journey to Ilkley to do we decieded to hang around until it resurfaced, which it did about 25 mins later. Got some cracking views & were pleased for my kids that they saw it.

There is now a Fisheries Protection Vessel on standby stopping boats approaching it.

Richard
 

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