Tuesday 17 December 2013

Dead dolphin

Another dead cetacean was spotted this morning on the beach near Carnain, Loch Indaal, by Grant Carmichael who lives close by. He phoned SNH who phoned me. I was out goose counting round Loch Gorm at the time and was able to find it on my way back to Bowmore and do the necessary. This time it was a Common Dolphin, dead well before it washed up here. The winds have been strong and more or less southerly the last few days so it could have travelled some distance before coming into the loch. It isn't a very pretty sight, but here are the photos nonetheless as they show the salient features of this species with its well-toothed jaws in a longish beak, curved white side patches and a fairly small dorsal fin. It was just under 6 foot long (181 cm). I collected a sample of skin and blubber and am sending it off to the Scottish Marine Stranding Scheme where they will be able to test it for pollutants and also obtain the DNA to add to their databank and compare it with others of the same species.

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