• Robyn Palmer

A day of two halves - dolphins and seabirds.

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

Wednesday 7th August: Wednesday was a wild & wet one! We had a group of strong seafarers out who kept a steady eye on the horizon. During the morning trip we were treated to Risso’s dolphins straight away. They were a very active lot, jumping and twisting around each other which tells us they were socialising. One dolphin put on an exuberant display of tail slapping, a very expressive form of body language and one of the many ways dolphins communicate.


We were able to identify one older animal we recognised from previous encounters, almost entirely white from head to fin and with a small nick low on the dorsal fin. Heading south we encountered some dolphins speeding by us, as one leaped clean out of the water we got a clear view of his yellow band across his side so we were able to confidently identify them as common dolphins. Our skipper got us steadily home through the increasingly choppy waters and everyone disembarked with only slightly wobbly legs.

A gannet flies by - photo by Margaret Soraya

The weather had improved slightly by the afternoon, however it was still preferable to remain in the shelter of Point. A white-tailed eagle took us all by surprise flying overhead, as we paused to watch a curious seal popped up behind the boat and one young photographer aboard got a great shot of him relaxing in the water alongside us. We continued up to chicken rock hugging the coastline along which some spectacular waterfalls had been created by the heavy rains of the previous night. Chicken rock featured many shags, some with their wings hung out to dry after a day of fishing. On the journey back a few fulmars came gliding alongside and a couple of gannets made some spectacular dives close by.


Of the eagle family we have been watching this season – both parents and their two now fledged chicks - we only spotted one chick perched high above the nest site. On our journey home we also encountered a Manx shearwater and two large rafts of guillemots with chicks. An afternoon full of birds and a morning of dolphins what more could we want from our Hebridean adventure.

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