Monday, 30 July 2012

Ironic twist to National Whale and Dolphin Watch

The Safari wasn't looking forward to a Patch 2 session on the drive in as the sea was still too rough. We were right very little was out there. So little in fact that we didn't really relish going out for another blimp at lunchtime.
We had another helper at lunchtime,  LS from the Zoo's research department who is hoping to put together a cetacean watching team for our stretch of coast.
But minutes before we left to meet her news broke from LA the new Sand Dunes Project Officer, that on 'her' beach a couple of miles to our south there were report of two dead Grey Seals, a dead Harbour Porpoise and a dead baby whale of as yet unknown species.
Thoughts immediately turned to by-catch from the trawler that had been working the coast recently or another unseen one from jut over the horizon.
We saw very little on the lunchtime watch and couldn't see the carcasses from where we were stood. If we had have been able to we'd have nipped down after the watch.
Just before we were about to head off home the Fylde Coast Beachcare Project team turned up and kindly offered us a lift down - thanks very much girls much appreciated.
Half way down the beach was one of the Grey Seals, a female. No real clues as to cause of death, thankfully not shot and didn't look to have any mesh injuries from a net.

A good reason not to go near ill or injured seal you might find on the beach - those gnashers could do very serious damage!

Further down the beach near the river channel was the much bigger whale carcass.
Now we've seen it it's deffo a young male Minke Whale.
Looks like a propeller has taken it's face off - but was it dead already or not - impossible to tell without a PM which may be going to done, or at least samples taken as a vet from Liverpool University was on his way.

The severed ends of the jaw bones
Pectoral fin, or radius ulna and hand - just like yours and ours but a bit bigger!

Boy did it pong!
Back at Base Camp we went in to the garden to feed the fish and spotted these small dancing flies - not our usual one. A great little sideways dance with some really nifty hops thrown in - enjoy! And if you know what they are let us know.

Where to next? The wind seems to dropping and swinging round to the south so conditions at sea might be a bit better tomorrow. We'll be watching nearer to high tide and the high tides are getting higher which matches our 'research' in to Harbour Porpoise sightings better than the weekend's tides.
In the meantime let us know what's dancing on the Lily pads in your outback.


Anonymous said...

Real shame about the Seal & the Minke, Dave :(

anno said...

"whale meat again, don't know where don't know when..."

It reminds me of Widnes Willy - our stranding on the Mersey

Blackpool Nature said...

Hi Dave !

A sad end to your Whale & Dolphin Watch.
Good pics - shame about the subject matter - RIP


Abo said...

Excellent post. Sad to see such majestic creatures like that.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Widnes Willy - August 98? we're getting old Anno!

A real shame Dean & Peter.

Abo - many thanks for dropping by, sad indeed but does show they are in the Irish Sea although you're probably more likely to see them than we are as they mostly travel between Ireland and the Isle of Man