The annual Orca Watch event took place over the week of May 24th – 31st 2014 in the north of Scotland and was full of fantastic cetacean sightings!
The aim of Orca Watch is to track killer whales throughout the Pentland Firth, and the week was quite a success with lots of visitors and regular supporters coming out to participate. These included Dawn and Kira, who travelled all the way from Coventry to Scotland to see killer whales. After much patient waiting, they were incredibly delighted that they got to do so!
Our regional coordinator Colin Bird did a wonderful job of getting people involved , chalking up a total of 48 hours of recorded effort, one boat survey and over 57 hours of casual watching over the span of the week. This fantastic effort resulted in a total of seven tracked orcas, 3 sightings of minke whale, one sighting of common dolphin and 4 of harbour porpoise.
The success of this year’s Orca Watch was largely attributed to the great help of some wonderful volunteers and the John O’Groats Ferry company for reporting sightings to Colin and making it possible for the orcas to be tracked through the Pentland Firth.
In order to help with the identification of sighted individuals, anyone who has participated in the event and who has good quality images is encouraged to send them to Andy Foote, the leading scientist for Scottish Orca at: FooteAD@gmail.com
To find out more about Colin’s regional group and for more information on the event, see his website: http://www.caithness-sea-watching.co.uk
For more general information about Orcas in UK waters click here.
A massive thank you to everyone who made this year’s Orca Watch such a great success!
Sea Watch Foundation Intern