View Full Version : Help - what do you think I saw?

29-Jul-08, 22:32
On Monday morning (28th July), about 8.30 - 9am I was walking along Thurso beach esplanade and looking out to sea I suddenly spotted a big black fin in the water. I stopped in my tracks and kept looking and for the next 10 mins or so I watched 4 big black fins in the water, rising in and out. They were very far away and I didn't have any binoculars handy (drat!) so couldn't get a closer look. They must have been at least 400yds away but they were definitely black and must have been pretty big dorsal fins for me to be able to see them clearly (it also helped that the water was very calm too!).

So what do you think it could have been? Possibly orca I think but anyone else any ideas? Anyone see them the same time as me? They stayed in the area for 10-15 mins then headed out towards Orkney direction. It was amazing - my first whale/shark sighting!! :D

29-Jul-08, 22:48
The discription could be of any number of Dolphins or even pilot whales.
But the most likely would be the Risso's Dolphin.
They do ride quite high in the water and can be identified by white scar tissue some times seen on the dorsal and body.
They also have a very rounded front because they have no beak
They are also quite big at around 10-12 feet
They have very large dorsal fins and have been seen around the North Caithness coast on the 26th and 27th July.
And they have been seen in Thurso Bay on more than one occasion.
Unless someone else got a better look, we will probably never know what species you saw.
But your report is still very useful.
Many Thanks

31-Jul-08, 22:07
there have been a few sightings on basking sharks in this area so it could have been a small group of them :D