Summer is here. The change in our weather is usually accompanied by the presence of some visiting wildlife in our waters here on the West Coast of Scotland. These visitors, along with our resident wildlife, make sailing here a nature lover’s paradise. Here are five types of wildlife to look out for when sailing on the West Coast:
The Bottlenose Dolphins are larger than the dolphins you can find elsewhere in the world. They are around 3 to 4 metres long and they will live in pods of around 10. They will swim up to 20 mph and you can usually spot them breaching – jumping up out of the water. They are frequently sighted on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland, and on the west coast around Mull, the Firth of Lorne, Skye and Canna. They are resident throughout the year, but you are certainly more likely to see them in summer, as the sea conditions will be calmer.
Caption: Summer is a perfect time to spot Bottlenose Dolphins on the West Coast of Scotland.
This Baleen whale can be found in Scottish waters – off the west coast. It measures around 9 metres long, and can usually be seen on its own, or if female, it may have a young calf with it. It rarely breeches, but since it needs to breathe air you can see it near the surface of the water. They can regularly be seen in summer around the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg and Muck, as well as in the waters around Skye and Mull.
They can be quite nosey – so look out, as they may approach your boat.
Caption: #Mike Whale is a regular in the waters of the Scottish West Coast.
Killer Whale (Orca)
According to recent research by Aberdeen University – the pods of Orcas that can be seen around the northern and eastern coasts of Scotland are visiting pods. However, there is a small pod on the west coast of around nine or ten, which seem to be resident. Orcas are instantly recognisable from their black and white markings and vast size. The pod on the west coast can be spotted around Skye and the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna. On the north coast – you can spot the migratory pods in summer around Orkney and Shetland.
Caption: #Orca – there is a small pod of Orcas that frequent the western coastal waters of Scotland.
Otters are one of the most elusive mammals in Scotland. However, if you are on the West Coast of Scotland you have a good chance of seeing them in the wild. You can find them in freshwater locations, close to the shore, during the day. You’ll find them in and around the Isle of Skye and Mull.
Caption: Otters, our elusive but beautiful west coast neighbours all the year round.
Sea Eagle (White Tailed Eagle)
Sea Eagles are absolutely stunning creatures. Majestic and massive – in fact it’s the largest bird of prey in the UK, with a wingspan of 2.5 metres in length, and one metre tall. Amazingly, the sea eagle was reintroduced to the area in the 1980s after being previously hunted to extinction. You can see Sea Eagles in and around Skye, Mull and Rum, as well as along the West Coast of the mainland.
Caption: The sea eagle is the UK’s largest bird of prey – and it’s home is the West Coast of Scotland.
See the wonderful West Coast wildlife for yourself:
Seeing the country from the water gives one a different perspective. Add in the chance to see all this wonderful wildlife and you’ve got a really memorable experience. Flamingo Yacht Charters can help you make this happen – we are based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire - one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs. You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.
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