Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Owls and Whales

Last night on my return from a first aid exam I spotted two Owls hunting each side of Bridgend. The wind had dropped and temperature rose and so they had the opportunity to feed. Although it was a dark night there were easily seen as floating ghosts amid the gorse.

Today Dr Olgilvie of the INHT was going to inspect a Curviers Beaked Whale washed up on Saligo. Interestingly Cuvier's beaked wales can be from 5 to 7 metres plus in length and appear to be one of the most abundant of the beaked whale family. With their gently sloping foreheads it becomes a slight beak which is less obvious with age. They have two teeth which are just visible when the mouth is closed. They can be black to brown with white or cream coloured blotches and circular 'scars' on the underside and sides. Older males have extensive white areas from the beak to the top centre of the body.. Their flukes are broad, being up to one quarter of their body length with no middle notch. They eat fish and squid. You can see a picture here:http://www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk/whales_dolphins/cuvier. Ian and Margaret Brooke on their local birding website have a picture of the whale here:
I am awaiting info as to what the other whale is......

The Barnacles loaf in the fields behind Port Charlotte and as I went around the Rhinns this afternoon they were in smaller groups as were the Whitefronts. A male Hen Harrier was driving up pipits and finches around Cultoon. No wind and moist rain!