Saturday 26th May – Saturday 2nd June 2018Breaching killer whale by John Irvine/ Sea Watch Foundation
Killer whales (orcas) are rare in the British Isles but can be observed mainly in northern Britain, around the Hebrides and the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland). Those from the Northern Isles seem to come from a population that ranges between Norway, Iceland and the Faroes, visiting the northernmost North Sea in the winter to feed upon herring or mackerel, and then coming closer to shore between May and August, where they have been observed chasing seals.
This year’s Orca Watch is planned for late May to coincide with the annual passage of killer whales observed in the Pentland Firth as well as to coincide with school holidays to enable as many people to join us as possible! The aim of Orca Watch is to collect vital data on this and other cetacean species in the area, whilst informing the public about these enigmatic animals just off their shores!
Originally instigated by Sea Watch Regional Coordinator Colin Bird, the event is now in its seventh year and is growing in popularity. We are really pleased about this and welcome collaboration from other organisations to ensure that this event reaches as many people as possible!
For the public
We’re currently in the process of planning Orca Watch activities and new events will be listed below as soon as we have them.
Whilst you could certainly plan your own holiday around the event, we are only inviting you to join in with our surveys, training course and other events and we cannot provide accommodation or travel.Killer whales seen during Orca Watch. Photo by Colin Bird/ Sea Watch Foundation
2:00 pmDunnet Head
Join RSPB staff for a guided walk looking at the puffins and other birds nesting in the seabird cities at the most northerly point on the British mainland. The walk will last approximately 1 hour and covers some uneven terrain – stout footwear is essential, as well as appropriate clothing. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Events may be cancelled in the event of persistent rain or strong winds.
Meet at RSPB Information Point, Dunnet Head car park, grid ref:ND202767. Price: RSPB members and U16′s free; Non RSPB members £5 (refundable if you join the RSPB on the day). www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-414042
Don’t forget to report any cetacean sightings you may have during your visit! www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/sightingsform
If your organisation would like to take part in Orca Watch, then please contact Anna Jemmett, a Sea Watch volunteer who is coordinating the event, on email@example.com. We would welcome public awareness events as well as extra help with the watches, or please let us know if you have any other ideas too!
Thank you for getting involved!
The Team at Sea Watch Foundation