Monday, 5 August 2019

A Dolphin named Kylie

This is a (Short-beaked) Common Dolphin that lives in Fairlie Roads off the Isle of Cumbrae, near Largs, Scotland and has been named Kylie by the FSC Millport staff. There is some debate how long she has been here but possibly since the early Noughties. She hangs out round a large red buoy that marks the shipping channel. It is very unusual for a Common Dolphin to have left her pod and gone off on her own, and nobody really understands why she has done this and why she is so faithful to the large buoy. The buoy doesn't seem to attract fish, so perhaps it just gives her a familiar comfort in some way. Remarkably, the local Harbour Porpoises sometimes come along and hang out and they actively play together. Even more remarkable is that Kylie increases the frequency of her calls and the Harbour Porpoises lower the frequency of their calls, so they can communicate! Amazing! I had a go at filming her underwater from a kayak using a GoPro, my first attempt at such things, so I was pleased to get a clip of her at least, looking nice and chilled.

When we were out on the research vessel, she rapidly joined us to ride the bough wave much to the delight of us all board. She is such a fan of this that when a yacht pulled up and the sailors sat watching her, she rode up alongside, stopped, and smashed her tail repeatedly on the water surface as if to say 'get a move on!'. Really incredible to see.

No comments: