Sunday, July 08, 2012

SAC: Arctic wildlife

We kept a good look out for the wildlife of the Arctic Circle.

There were lots of fulmars and puffins (above in the dead calm) and also a number of different terns (including Arctic terns), a northern gannet, a range of gulls including black backed gulls, guillemots, more fulmars, kittiwakes, long tailed skuas, even more fulmars....

We did indeed see lots of fulmars, though near the coast of Iceland we saw more puffins, shuttling to and from land flying together in train-like formations.

Also we spotted seals, dolphins and whales. The north coast of Iceland is quite a whale watching heaven and often we'd see spouts of water and cry out "there she blows!"

There was this amazing dolphin that was leaping high above the water, maybe its body length above the waves while another whale went directly under the boat.

So where are the photos? you are probably wondering. Alas it turns out that whale and dolphin reflexes are faster than ours, particularly when the on-watch person is meant to be sailing the boat and the cameras were usually kept below out of wave splash.

Anyhow here is the best that I did though there should be some better ones Tristan took on his camera:
We had to hand the book "Wildlife of the Northern Atlantic" which proved brilliant, even coping with curve balls like jelly fish.

Alas no photo of that either, so here's another puffin pic:

We also saw this:
It was a patch of water where many things below the surface swirled, their fins twisting round and round, but we couldn't work out what they are. There were some fulmars nearby (obviously) and they ignored what ever it was.

Any suggestions welcome!


Keep Reaching said...

Great series - following our adventures is a treat. The wildlife is particularly interesting - for them your exotic destination is home, business as usual. Thanks for sharing.

JP said...

Thanks, it was a great trip - wouldn't mind going back up there.

Kate Pahl said...

If you read Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie she has pictures of killer whales off the Shetlands that look quite like those....

JP said...

That books looks very interesting - she seems to have travelled in very similar places to us.