Welcome to Day 9 of Orca Watch 2021
SUNDAY: Orca Watch Live! Final Roundup!
Join us as we look back on a week of great sightings from Sutherland and Caithness, Orkney and Shetland, with a brief look at The Hebrides and Moray Firth areas too. We’ll also take a look at Sea Watch activities and events over the rest of the year, including National Whale and Dolphin Watch in July, before revisiting the highlights of the week with some of our observers and partners throughout this week. You can see this show here and all our FREE Orca Watch Live! shows are available on the Sea watch Foundation YouTube channel here.
If you missed our amazing Evening of Talks, you can still use the link you bought to see the recording. If you didn’t buy a ticket, it’s not too late! Click here!
This amazing show includes over 2 hours of orca “edutainment” including “Iconic Orca – Introducing the Killer Whale” with Robin Petch, our keynote speaker Filipa Samarra from the Icelandic Orca Project with “The orcas that unite us” and Director Peter Evans and Sightings Officer Chiara Bertulli talking about Sea Watch Foundation, its role in studying and protecting UK whales, dolphins and porpoises and how you can get involved as a volunteer “citizen scientist”.
Sightings Map – Saturday 5th June
As you can see, the 27s orca seen on Friday remained on the Caithness coast throughout the night, being seen again by Steve Truluck in the very early hours off Skarfskerry and again by Cath Bain and Karen Munro at 6:15am, Duncansby Head. Minke whales were also being seen in the area and around Orkney too where the haar had finally lifted.
Harbour porpoise were seen in Orkney and Shetland but were understandably keeping clear of Caithness and tha day was brought to a close by the sighting of Risso’s dolphins at Bard of Bressay on Shetland by Pete Morris.
Sightings Map – Sunday 6th June
Our final day of Orca Watch 2021 brought one last orca sighting too. At 3:10pm Karen Hall spotted 4 or 5 at the Out Skerries on Shetland.
The OMMRO team continued to benefit from the improved visibility with minke whale and Risso’s dolphin sightings and the same species were also seen on the Caithness coast. Steve Truluck spotting minke at John O’Groats at 9:05am and Lorena Potter and David Houliston seing 6 Risso’s in Thurso Bay at 10:15.
The Breaking News sightings can be found here but will no longer be updated as the event is over. It makes a great record though of the excitement of this amazing week!
The Verified Sightings, already entered into the database via our Sightings Page can be found here and this will continue for a short while also so that the progress of the updates can be seen.
The 169s, photographed by Philip Hack near Grif Skerry, east of Whalsay, Shetland on 29th May.
My apologies to Philip because although they were correctly credited on Orca Watch Live! earlier in the week, an error crept in to last night’s show and they were attributed to another photographer.
Our final Orca Watch Live! show last night looked at the initial results of the week, the highs and lows and looked ahead to the rest of the year with Sea Watch Foundation. In one final blog later this week we will feature some of these and share with you the key outcomes. I would though like to share again one piece of news which Hugh Harrop broke on the show last night.
We already knew that 4 pods had visited our core area during the week; the 169s and then the 12s were first identified in Shetland and then later it was confirmed that one of the earliest sightings, in Orkney, had in fact been the 19s. The 27s were then spotted on the Sutherland and Caithness coast towards the end of the week. Hugh confirmed last night that a further pod, the 15s, were the animals photographed by Robbie Brookes at Muckle Flugga, Unst on 2nd June. This animal is #17.
Links to further information
Additional information can be found on our Orca Watch 2021 Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/orcawatchers or our Orca Watch Facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/orcawatch/ as well as www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/orca-watch-2021/.
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Please support our work and this event!
Thank you for being part of Orca Watch 2021. As I am sure you will appreciate, a great deal of work has gone into making this possible. Our paid Officers have been supported by an incredible team of volunteers and partners, as well as a very welcome financial contribution by NatureScot through the PlungeIn! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund. However, Orca Watch, and the work of Sea Watch Foundation studying and protecting UK whales, dolphins and porpoises year round, relies heavily on your support. Please show your appreciation by becoming a Sea Watch Member here, donating to our PayPal Giving Fund here, or why not Adopt a Dolphin here.
Thank you for your interest and support throughout the week and in the future
Sea Watch Ambassador