Daniel_Scott's picture

Introducing myself

Hi all,

Just thought I'd introduce myself...

I'm Dan, a 26 year old male from Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

I am currently studying with the Open University (again) and I am on the S159 Neighbourhood Nature module. It is through this course I was introduced to this fantastic site.

I am really enjoying observing and contributing to this site. I think it is amazing. It's a massive learning environment for me. Not only am I learning about species I am observing but I am learning from other peoples observations on here.

I have always had a lifelong interest in natural history since a child. So I thought it was time to do something with it.

I am trying to organise whale watching. I love whales! Orca being my favourite, although belonging to the dolphin family. It is whales and other cetaceans I want to specialise in.

Any advice and guidance welcome guys. I am a novice and I haven't got any high-tech equipment. But the enthusiasm and passion is there. :-)



Sarah West's picture

Hi Dan, Glad you're getting a

Hi Dan,
Glad you're getting a lot out of iSpot and the OU course! I can't offer any advice on the whale watching front, but have you considered joining the Yorkshire Naturalists Union? We have a very active marine and coastal section, the coast is a bit of a trek for you from Barnsley, but you;d be very welcome to come along if you fancied it. Google us and you'll find our website (it's in the process of being revamped, so bear with us if it's a bit slow!)

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist
Yorkshire and Humber

Daniel_Scott's picture

Hey Sarah. Thanks for

Hey Sarah. Thanks for this!

Yeh I am interested in joining the Yorkshire Naturalists Union. Could you set me up?

I am wanting to get more experience, knowledge and skill in natural history. YNU could help me with this as well as meeting new people who have a similar interest. :-)

How about OPAL too?

Sarah West's picture

Will post details of our

Will post details of our upcoming excursions when the website is up and running again! We have a facebook group, if you use it, feel free to join and say hello!

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist
Yorkshire and Humber

Daniel_Scott's picture

Thank you, I will do!

Thank you, I will do!

tburkinshaw's picture

whale watching in the UK

Hi Dan, my most memorable wildlife experience in the UK was off the west coast of Scotland when I was a travelling teen. There is a summer (?)ferry between Rhum, Canna Eigg islands etc and they regularly saw whales and porpoises. The skipper detoured for people to see them. I was wowed by a Minke whale passing right under the boat. Look up Arisaig Marine and see if they still run it. Well worth it. West coast a beautiful area anyway.
Also I got a great little booklet in Mull called 'was it a whale'. Beginners field id guide to cetaceans.
Definitely do the YNU thing as well - Tim.

Tim Burkinshaw
Wetland Project Officer
Scarborough Borough Council

Daniel_Scott's picture

Thank you Tim! I found it:

Thank you Tim!

I found it: http://www.arisaig.co.uk/wildlife-cruises.asp

Unfortunately getting up will be too costly for me. I was asked back in May if I wanted to go up to Scotland to possibly see Orcas. But I couldn't afford the travel and accomodation.

Will keep trying though! :-)

That booklet seems interesting!

the naturalist man's picture

Cetacean studies

Hello Dan

Cetaceans are wonderful creatures which can be seen almost anywhere round the British coast though some places are better than others, e.g. West and North Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.

The YNU are an excellent way to learn more about natural history. We do see cetaceans off the Yorkshire coast though they are few and far between I'm afraid.

To find out more try visiting the WDCS:


Their species guide is at:


and SeaWatch:


Their species guide is at:


And keep visiting iSpot!

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Daniel_Scott's picture

Thanks Graham for this. I

Thanks Graham for this.

I have been in touch with those organisations. But let me know when you do whale watching in Yorkshire! :-)