Orca Watch 2019 – Information about Watch Sites

Meet up the 2019 Orca Watch Organizers and Lead Volunteers

SWF=Sea Watch Foundation ; WDC=Whale and Dolphin Conservation
SWF=Sea Watch Foundation ; WDC=Whale and Dolphin Conservation

 

Information about land-watch sites

In North Scotland, Duncansby Head remains the main watch site for the Orca Watch event although the organizers are looking to expand the data collection to other sites in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland.

To take part, you’ll need a land-watch form 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 2019.

North Caithness:

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 the 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

 

 DUNCANSBY HEAD – LAND-WATCH TIME SCHEDULE

Duncansby Head time Schedule for land-watches
Duncansby Head time Schedule for land-watches

 

East Caithness:

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

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 offshore           long walk, rough ground

                                             

Orkney:

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 viewpoints not known

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

 

Shetland:

Sumburgh Head, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                        Car parking 

Mousa Sound, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                             Car parking 

Eshaness, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                                     Car parking 

Nesting, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                                        Car parking 

Hillswick, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                                      Car parking

Fair Isle, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                                      Car parking 

Noss Sound, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                                 Car parking 

Sumburgh Head, Shetland. Good location for spotting Orcas.                                                                                        Car parking and facilities 

 

 

NIALL MCGINTY has produced LOCATION MAPS on our behalf of the Pentland First area and some suggested view points for watching out for orca. With these location maps people will know exactly where to go, which facilities are there as well knowing who to contact for more information.

Map are coming up soon!

 

 

If you are unsure about any aspect of data collection, please contact the SWF Lead Organizer on: orcawatch@seawatchfoundation.org.uk 

If you would like to be kept up to date with Orca Watch events and news please visit the Sea Watch’s Orca Watch Facebook group.

To follow up on the sightings and events organized in Orkney and Shetland, join their two Facebook pages:

SHETLAND ORCA SIGHTINGS – https://www.facebook.com/groups/shetlandorcasightings/
ORKNEY CETACEAN SIGHTINGS  – https://www.facebook.com/groups/322499874791151/