On a spontaneous adventure I started a seasonal move to the highlands of Scotland to experience the diverse wildlife it has to offer, especially with marine life in mind! Whilst exploring I wanted to do my best to deliver some sightings for the Sea Watch Foundation and share what I see.
The lovely people at Misty Isle Boat Trips allowed me my first opportunity to take to the water and discover their world. Tucked away in Elgol on the Isle of Skye is where the Misty Isle is based, taking lucky customers out on glorious boat trips around the small islands of the inner Hebrides.
Meeting Anne and the team at Misty Isle you can immediately tell they want to make their boat trips the best experience for everyone…especially by including tea and biscuits!
Ready with my survey form I was waiting for my first sighting, eyes glued to my binoculars until a lovely little Harbour Porpoise made an appearance behind the boat. Brief but exciting we headed out to open water.
Heading out towards the Isle of Canna we started to see the diverse bird life, with a few guillemots here and razorbills there. More and more species appeared as we got closer to the island with Gannets, Puffins, Kittiwakes, a Great Skua flew over and even some Manx Shearwater were spotted.
Looking over the nesting bird colonies on the cliffs of Canna is an experience in its self, a true mark of the impressive Scottish wildlife.
Another fantastic treat was the sight of a sea eagle flying down from the top of the cliffs and being targeted by so many of the other birds.
As we continued round the coast of Canna towards the harbour we had a couple more sightings of porpoise, however still not willing to give us much of a look.
A short stop on Canna was also a fantastic part of the boat trip, grabbing a bite to eat from the little café!
Heading out of the harbour was the lovely treat of several grey seals resting at their haul out site, and one slightly more curious seal that came to have a look.
Cruising towards Rum the captain said they often see Minke whales in the areas coming up so we were back to a dedicated watch!
Passing Rum and spotting the red deer on the beaches and an old shipwreck, which you can only imagine underwater thriving as a refuge for so many fish, you can tell this is a unique boat trip experience.
On our way back to Elgol we had our final sighting of two more porpoise and these two decided to leap out of the water more than once giving us a good view to end on.
The Misty Isle boat trips often see porpoise, common and bottlenose dolphin, Minke whale and Basking sharks, they’ve even been lucky enough to encounter orca on a trip of theirs. As my luck has it a week later on one of their trips they saw a pod of over 100 common dolphin.
A great trip to see marine life but still a fantastic trip to experience the dramatic views of Skye’s coast and surrounding islands, I would highly recommend it and would like to thank Misty isle for the experience!Photo credits: Jennifer Rozak Written by: Jennifer Rozak, Sea Watch Foundation Sighting Network Volunteer