Community sightings summary: July 2017

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The Community Sightings Network reported a total of 334 sightings of 1972 individual whales, dolphins and porpoises during the month of July; a three-fold increase in sightings compared to last month. July also saw an incredibly diverse range of species, with 11 different species of cetacean reported.  


It was an excellent month for Killer whales, with nine sightings of 26 individuals! The distinctive John Coe from our resident West Coast Community was spotted twice around the Isle of Skye; confirmed by photo-ID of his dorsal fin which stands close to two meters tall!  There were also two sightings of at least 10 killer whales from the Northern Isles Community spotted around Ullapool, with one male identified as the member 032 Busta.

Only one humpback whale was sighted this month, compared to last month when seven humpback encounters were reported. We also had reports of a possible sperm whale in the Sea of the Hebrides, sighted from a ferry.

There was a huge increase in the number of common dolphins sighted this month, with 58 sightings of 993 individuals reported across the entire Hebrides, particularly around the Summer Isles and the Small Isles, where large groups were seen feeding, leaping and interacting with boats and ferries. Additionally, 75 Atlantic white-sided dolphins were spotted around the Outer Hebrides.

Bottlenose dolphin sightings also increased this month with 26 sightings of 163 individuals. Almost half of all sightings were from around the Isle of Mull, where groups of bottlenose dolphins were seen bow-riding, feeding, leaping and breaching; giving our local community an impressive show!

This month marks the end of an era, for our Community Sightings Network, with the launch our much anticipated sightings app, Whale Track in early August. Whale Track is revolutionary, vastly improving the way in which sightings are reported by utilising technology inbuilt in your smart phone, to enable you to easily report sightings whilst out. This multifunctional app enables users to record sightings across the west coast of Scotland, whether you are whale-watching from a remote headland, sailing the Hebridean seas, or travelling on one of the many ferry crossings. For more information on Whale Track, please click here.

Thank you to everyone that reported their sightings to us in July, helping us to understand and protect our amazing whales, dolphins and porpoises. We hope you will continue to contribute and love using our new app as much as we do!