August 5th   3 comments

The conditions were perfect this evening for looking for whales and dolphins, and the warden on the May reported two minke whales earlier today. I sat on Castle Walk for an hour looking at the flat calm sea, trying my luck. Minke whales tend to come to you – you happen to be watching a bit of sea and then one surfaces. A couple of seconds of a long rolling back with a relatively small looking dorsal fin and then it’s gone. I got lucky twice in the hour, and all in the first five minutes. The rest of the time I was looking in the wrong spot: lots of the usual seabirds and a couple of manx shearwaters. Even so I knew it was there and knowing there is a whale cruising by your house is quite a wonderful thing. August is the best month to see minke whales from Crail or Fife Ness but it still takes some luck.

Posted August 5, 2020 by wildcrail in Sightings

3 responses to “August 5th

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  1. Did you spot them with binoculars or with the naked eye?

    Thank you, Christine (Bank House)

    • On a really calm evening with the sea flat it is best to search with the naked eye because you can see a much wider area. You have a better chance of picking up a whale surfacing. The problem is that by the time you have got your binoculars on it, it will have gone under again. So I tend to scan with my telescope or binoculars – it decreases the chance of looking at the right bit of sea, but when you get it right you get an identifiable view. But if a minke is travelling forward rather then you can spot it with the naked eye and then guess more accurately where to look with your binoculars next time. I find it tricky and proper whale watchers can predict this much better and so see more whales than I do. Good luck. There were 4-5 minkes reported off Kingsbarns Beach this morning so it is a very good time just now!

  2. Thanks.Fingers crossed. C.

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