Orca Watch 2018 Watch Sites & Info

Dunscansby Head remains the main watch site for the Orca Watch event. However, this year we’re looking for your help to expand the data collection to other sites in North Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.

To take part, you’ll need a watch form (click here) and appropriate clothing and optics for looking for cetaceans from a cliff top.

You could conduct a watch from whatever site you like, but here is our list of recommended watch sites for Orca Watch 2018:


North Caithness Coast


Duncansby Head    Join us at Duncansby Head, the main Orca Watch watch site.                                                free Car Park

John O’Groats       Orca often seen passing                                                                                                            free Car Park/toilets/refreshments

Gills Bay               Seal haul out, Orca often seen in Stroma Sound                                                                       watch from Lay By

St Johns Point      Orca can be seen passing, and a good view of the seal haul out NW Stroma                            long walk from parking

Dunnet Head       Good view across Pentland Firth                                                                                                RSPB Car Park

Holborn Head Other dolphins, whales and orca can pass very close to shore                                                         long walk


East Coast Caithness


Noss Head  Good coverage of Sinclair Bay Orca often seen here                                                                                 parking not easy, long Wwlk

Wick South or North of Wick River.  Orca often seen close to shore near Estuary.                                                      car parking                                                                                   

Sarclet Nr Thrumster          Seal haul out Orca hunt here                                                                                              free parking short walk

Whalegoe Steps Ulbster     Orca often seen passing here                                                          free Small Car Park sighting  possible from there or top of steps

Lybster.                      Orca often seen heading North close to shore and seen heading South further off shore           long walk, rough ground





Burwick South Ronaldsay   View of South entrance in and out of Scapa Flow                                                             parking not a problem                    

Hoxa Head South Ronaldsay  Good location for spotting Orca                                                                                     park then long walk

Stromness    Orca often seen in Bring Deep and Hoy Sound using West entrance to Scapa Flow                                best view points not known

Birsay, North West Mainland Orkney. Seal haul out where Orca are seen.                                                                   free parking          






 To be announced…      



If you are unsure about any aspect of data collection, please contact info@seawatchfoundation.org.uk.

If you have any questions about the suggested watch locations, please contact Orca Watch founder, Colin Bird.

If you would like to be kept up to date with Orca Watch events and news please email our lead volunteer, Anna Jemmett. You could also join our Orca Watch Facebook group.