Friday, 19 June 2020

Minkie Whale- Shetland

Minkie Whales are a common summer visitor to Shetland during the summer months mainly seen May - September

 With three others reported further north in the last few days it was no surprise when a Minkie Whales was spotted close to Sandwick

 I arrived two hours after word came out and the whale had moved south just above the Sandwick layby.

 Minkie Whales are always difficult to spot never mind photographing, they only surface briefly and then can move a great distance or circle round before resurfacing

 This one came fairly close in shore and was quiet small, I did see another further out close to a flock of feeding gulls

 It amazing that they spent more than 7 hours in more or less the same spot and didn't seem distracted by three small fishing boats close by.

 The larger adult surfaced just in front of one boat and then re appeared far to the left. They can be very inquisitive

 As they feed, they can dive deep and circle round

 Minkie whales are part of the Baleen family, and have large flattened heads and only show a small part of their body above the water

 The dorsal fin is located about 2/3 along the back

 Minkie Whales can grow up to 10m long.

 Minkie's hunt a wide variety of prey including herring, cod, mackerel, sand eels and squid.

Minkie Whales are one of the most difficult to photograph only appearing at the surface for a very short time

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