Posted by: orcaweb | June 3, 2013

Fat and friendly puffins and a dead turtle?

Hello,

So my 2 weeks on board have finished. This last week I have been accompanied on the observation deck by many other wildlife watching enthusiasts, which has made it easier for us to spot animals (20 pairs of eyes are better than 1).
Some early risers managed to spot some white-beaked dolphins! Unfortunately I was not about at this time.

There have been loads of puffins flying and diving around the Newcastle area.
Puffin©BenJones

Including these 3. The one in the middle appears to have been eating its fair share of sandeels.
Puffins©BenJones

And this puffin making friends with a pair of guillemots. This is my favorite photo of the week.
Auks©BenJones

The gannets have been getting up close and personal again.
Gannet©BenJones

There seem to be more juveniles flying about this week. You can see the juvenile with its black speckled plumage behind the fully grown adult.
Gannets©BenJones

The closest I got to photographing a cetacean this week was Monday.
Splash©BenJones

I could not clearly identify the animal however we were close to Holland, so it was most likely a harbour porpoise making an unusually large splash.

I also spotted what appeared to be a dead turtle although I am not sure. Please let me know if you think different.
DeadTurtle©BenJones
I first noticed it being pecked at by a fulmar. If it was indeed a dead turtle it may have died from being in cold waters or from eating too many floating plastic bags (which look alot like their favorite prey jellyfish).

I got really excited at one point when I spotted what appeard to be a dorsal fin at the surface.
Barrel©BenJones
But after closer inspection and the lack of movement, I realised I was looking at a metal sort of barrel.
Quoting a passenger ‘double the disappointment’ not only was it not a cetacean it was more marine litter.

On my last day in to Newcastle the weather was the best it had been for 2 weeks. So I am sure Sara will have loads of sightings to report.

Thanks for reading guys.

Ben.

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