Sea Watch’s North Grampian Regional Co-ordinator Alan Airey is having a season of whale and dolphin sightings second to none – and has been sharing some spectacular sights with passersby on the coast!
Last Thursday he witnessed killer whales – orcas – working together to hunt fish off Covesea west of Lossiemouth. At one point he was able to see three killer whales leaping clear of the water – breaching- at the same time! Alan was also able to let passers-by witness the drama through his telescope last Thursday ( June 6).
He said : ” Everyone who used the telescope was thrilled by the experience . It was something that so few people get to see live and so close in to the coast. “
He had gone to watch after a friend alerted him to 20 bottlenose dolphins off Burghead
swimming east which had suddenly turned and headed back west at speed.
He said: ” I wonder now if they had heard the Orca in the area and decided to make a swift exit before they became prey!”
When he arrived he saw the killer whales – three big males, four females and one juvenile just 2km off the coast , but no sign of the dolphins
Alan said: ” Hundreds of gulls were overhead as they were feeding and the males kept slapping their flukes down hard as if trying to stun the fish. This behaviour was usually followed by a melee as the other orcas dived in.”
Early the following day on his way into work Alan saw killer whales, minke whale and porpoise off Burghead and Covesea; watched dolphins and minke whale during his lunchbreak and on his way home was treated to the sight of 80 common dolphins ‘charging about’ for about 2hs off Burghead together with sightings of smaller dolphin groups.
Just last month he had been watching nearby when he saw an extraordinary attack on harbour porpoise by bottlenose dolphins working in tight formation.