10 + 11 08-09 Pilot whales in the fjord!

After hearing calls and finally getting a confirmation from Bellona, we found the pilot whales outside Skrova in the Vestfjord. It was late when we got there and we only had 3 hours left with light. But early in the morning we went out again and found them on the other side of the fjord. It was a fantastic day for the field work, clear Photos for identification revealed that we know this group from 2007. They had many new born calves with them and even a lonely Atlantic white sided dolphin was with them. The sound recordings revealed again a lot of different calls and ultrasonic whistles! we know so little about theses animals and days like this help to shed light on their biology.

pictures are here:

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We also heard that a group of orcas was feeding close to the island of Varoy. We cannot say whether these are the same animals we have seen last Tuesday, we need good pictures for that. I wish we had enough research money to take a few days off and go there!

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2009-08-04 orcas!

Finally there was some herring in the fjord and we went for a research trip and found a group of 6 orcas. they were slowly travelling out of the Vestfjord and found herring close to Nappstraumen. It was wonderful to see them carousel feeding and we got some nice sounds and pictures.
A  few tourist boats came to look and all of them were excellent whale watchers! they kept a distance, turned off the motor and just watched them. They did not interfere with our research or the orcas feeding behaviour.
We went out the next days but could not find the whales again. We found a minke whale and many harbour porpoises (with several newborn babies). However a friend saw the orcas again on the ferry to Røst, so they are still around Lofoten.
Enjoy the Pictures:

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Minke whale around boat 2009-03-08

after having seen the seals, we continued our safari and found a young minke whale that was not at all shy! he swam around our boat in a circle and it was difficult to take pictures from the left side for Photo-identification…but in the end he showed his beautiful left side as well. since he was very young, he had no scars or nicks and we will not be able to recognize him again. we just hope he will not play with a whaler…
lately we also see many young birds coming out of their nests, shags, terns, black guillemots to name just a few.
the weather is amazing and we spend more time out at sea than at the computer, more news and pictures will follow on rainy days!

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