Obanites can help scientists by whale watching

Train to be a whale surveyor on a one-day course in Oban run by ORCA.

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People in Argyll have just two days left to help scientists this year by reporting sightings of whales and dolphins.

Every year, scientists at the Sea Watch Foundation lead the National Whale and Dolphin Watch, a campaign to get members of the public contributing to protect cetaceans from July 29 to August 5.

And as regional co-ordinator, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), based in Tobermory, has organised a number of events.

‘It is a great time of year to go whale watching in the Hebrides,’  Pippa Garrard, HWDT community engagement officer, said.

‘Migratory minke whales are in the area to feed, the small native harbour porpoise are easier to spot in the calm summer weather and even rare species such as humpback whales are making an appearance.

‘And there are so many fantastic places to watch whales and dolphins from shore in the west of Scotland. The public play a vital role in monitoring these animals, particularly here where there is such long, complex coastline.

‘We are urging people submit their sightings during the event or join us at their local headland to find out more about local wildlife.’

Some of the events taking place are:

Friday August 4: Glengorm Estate, Mull, 10am to 1pm
Friday August 4: Rossgill, Tiree, 10am to 1pm
Saturday August 5: Kintra, Bunessan, Mull, 10am to 1pm.

Scientists and volunteer observers from across Scotland get involved in order to boost the Sea Watch’s database.

Since National Whale and Dolphin Watch began in 2002, around 4,500 sightings have been made in locations from the Channel Islands and the Scilly Isles to the Shetland Isles.

People are being urged to register and run watches of their own during National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2017, so that they can contribute data for the protection of these magnificent species.

To find out more about local events, visit www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk or to register your own event visit, www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw