Saturday 23rd May – Sunday 31st May 2020
Hold the dates – our 9th annual Orca Watch will take place May 23rd – 31st 2020.
If you missed the opportunity to take part into the Sea Watch Foundation’s Orca Watch event this year, then never fear – The Sea Watch Foundation in collaboration with Regional Coordinators in Scotland, Orkney and Shetland, and with other partners, is currently planning for Orca Watch 2020.
Orca Watch 2020 will take place on the 23rd – 31st May in Caithness, and around the Orkney and Shetland Isles! Sea Watch Foundation in collaboration with their former Regional Coordinator Colin Bird have been organizing an annual national recording event, the Orca Watch for the past 8 years. The idea of organizing this event originated from the possibility of underwater turbines installed in the Pentland Firth, which initiated the first seasonal watch to gather information on how killer whales use this area and what might be the consequences of such an installation.
Once more we are expecting that Orca Watch 2020 will see hundreds of volunteer whale enthusiasts scanning the sea of the Pentland Firth to try catch a glimpse of orcas, and any other cetacean species passing by. This annual event has been created to increase public awareness of how and when orcas utilise waters of the Pentland Firth during the summer months. This event also draws attention to the need for conservation, protection and continued research into the status, distribution, and abundance of this iconic whale species around the UK. 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.
The Sea Watch Foundation staff would like to thank in advance the following organisations that have already confirmed their support of Orca Watch 2020. They will greatly contribute to the success of the event: John O’Groats Ferries, RSPB wardens at Marwick Head, Sanday Development Trust, High Life Highland Countryside Rangers, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Wildlife. We will be adding more organisations in due course.
Also many thanks to our Official Accommodation Partners who are supporting Orca Watch 2020!
Finally, thanks to all Orca Watch volunteers who have contacted the event organizers and who are going to help making this event a great success!
To find our more:
More information about how you can get involved will follow shortly, and will be published on this website, as well as on our Facebook Page – Orca Watch 2020.
To connect with fellow Orca Watchers, join in the discussions about the event, and to see what has gone on in previous years, join our Facebook Group – Orca Watch.
If you’re thinking of visiting the Shetland or Orkney Isles during Orca Watch, also check out the Facebook groups Shetland Orca Sightings and Orkney Cetacean Sightings - Shetland Orca Sightings ; Orkney Cetacean Sightings
Thank you for getting involved!