Thesis Studying Seabird and Wildlife Activity

In April 2003, James Elliott was invited to attend a familiarisation visit to Seafari Adventures in Easdale, near Oban.

The role that James undertook was to be wildlife consultant and RIB crewman for the small family firm [Seafari Adventures] that ran Rigid Inflatable Boat [RIB] trips from Easdale.Corryvreckan Whirlpool Pictures, Argyll, Scotland - View From Northern Tip Of Jura

Seafari Advertures boat trips travel south through the Sound of Luing, into the Gulf of Corryvreckan and then back north via Belnahua to the Sound of Seil.

After one week's training and examination, James was invited to stay and subsequently spent a very fruitful six months guiding up to four trips per day into the Gulf of Corryvreckan. What began as a passing question on 'Why the skippers and crew could roughly predict where the porpoise might be?' became an obsession!

This was an obsession that ultimately led to a temporary existence for James, as a hermit on the northern tip of Jura.

Corryvreckan Whirlpool Pictures, Argyll, Scotland - He's Behind You, James!

As the sunny summer of 2003 closed, James decided to head back to the University of Aberdeen [a graduate in BSc Zoology Marine and Fisheries Biology in 2001] and study for his MSc in Marine and Fisheries Science. There was one goal and that was to answer the question:

How did the activity of the seabirds and cetacean [whales and dolphins] differ with the tides running through the Gulf of Corryvreckan?

In April 2004, James returned, this time to the Isle of Jura, where he set up a camp - with the permission of the Fletchers that own the northern tip of land on Jura, and with the assistance of Mike Richardson who lives near the Gulf.

From May to July 2004, James was based independently in a small collection of tents just below the cliff line that overlooks the channel. Every day he would march to the cliff top and record seabird numbers and activity along with any cetaceans [whales and dolphins] that were visible.

You can download pdf files containing the full thesis that James wrote during his Hermitage! Copyright of these documents is reserved by the University of Aberdeen and James Elliott.

Please use the above links to download the relevant pdf files containing the pages from James Elliott's thesis, with approximate file sizes shown [in brackets].

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