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Thread: Killer Whale (Orca)

  1. #1
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    Default Killer Whale (Orca)

    Found around the Caithness Coast at Around the time Common Seal pups are Born May to August.
    At the moment there is speculation that the increase in Orca activity is the cause of the decline in Common Seal numbers around the far North Coasts.
    This picture was taken at Duncansby Head July 2007


  2. #2
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    I heard Orca were spotted by the North Coast Explorer in the Firth on Sunday. There was also another sighting in Hoxa, Orkney the following day.
    Away with the birds

  3. #3

    Default As the

    Population of grey seals has increased, it is therefore only to be expected that the numbers of their predator, the Killer Whale will also increase?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprint95m View Post
    Population of grey seals has increased, it is therefore only to be expected that the numbers of their predator, the Killer Whale will also increase?
    Your Logic is sound sprint95m but not necessarily true in the case of Kller Whales
    Not all Killer Whales eat Mammals some eat only fish.
    Killer Whales will take Grey Seals thats for sure.
    Their arrival is timed with the comon pup season, they are smaller and are easier for the calves to manage.
    I might add Grey seal may have increased but Commons are down by about 30% Andy Foot from Aberdeen University is studying Orcas around the North of Scotland and thinks Orcas might be the reason for the decline in common seals.
    That is assuming the Orcas are taking the baby commons which unlike greys are born in the sea.
    Andy Foot will be giving a talk in Caithness later in the year to reveal some of his findings.
    There is no evidence to suggest Orcas have increased in numbers.
    The popularity of Digital Photography and seawatching as brought about more reporting of Cetaceans.
    Last year the number of Orcas off Norway was well down as was the Minke Whale.
    2006 there were very few Orca sightings around Caithness compared with 2005.
    Caithness had a good year 2007 with about 15 sightings, but you must remember people are reporting the same groups several times over as they move back and forth along the coast.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the explanation, Seabird.

    There used to be a killer whale in Strathy Bay each late summer until about ten years ago. A fisherman from Melvich told me it was a male that returned year after year.
    Strathy Point used to be a good spot for seeing various cetaceans and sea birds, but not so in recent years alas.

  6. #6

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    i used to be a fisherman and we saw them around caithness quite often

  7. #7
    Kismet Guest

    Default Killer Whale (Orca)

    Great, must get a few coastal walks in, in the hope of seeing some My daughter was always whale daft and she would be over the moon to see one relatively close. Orcas were her favourite but even as a small child seemed to adore them all covered in barnacles or not She was a hyper wee thing and only way to keep her sitting in one place was to put on an her whale documentary lol Was an hour and a half long and she sat glued was a well needed break I can tell you

  8. #8

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    One of the best summer jobs i ever had was salmon fishing of the Melness coast, did two seasons 82 and 83. Orca's were a common sight for us working close to the shore, I must admit i was a little scared the first time we saw them, because they were very interested in us and gave us a good looking over for about 10 mins, there were about 7 of them and two or three of them were a good bit bigger than our cobble.
    An elderly farmer who had sheep all up the coast as far as Eriboll told me one day when he was a boy he seen an Orca take a seal of the rocks in Eriboll.

  9. #9

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    Orca's. Some of the most beautiful creatures on this earth. Been lucky to have had the opertunity to see them in the wild. Almost had to be held back as it wouldn't have taken much to have gone in for a swim with them! Theres just something to majestic about them, and to look into the eye of one, such deep souls!

  10. #10
    Kismet Guest

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    Have read articles claiming that being close to whales and dolphins changes you, a pretty fantastic experience I would imagine, having never been up close to a whale. Except one dying on the beach

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kismet View Post
    Have read articles claiming that being close to whales and dolphins changes you, a pretty fantastic experience I would imagine, having never been up close to a whale. Except one dying on the beach
    Sounds daft doesnt it? True though! I swam with dolphins in 2000 and again 2005. Nothing in the world compares for me! It's like they can see right inside you. Totally relaxed, for me the rest of the world blurred in the back ground. It's hard to put into words how it makes you feel, just one of those things you really have to experience for yourself.

  12. #12
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    Default Orcas seen Twice. 4th and 17th May 2008

    The North Coast Adventure Rib boat as now had 2 encounters with Orcas in the Pentland Firth this month.
    The first encounter was on the 4th of May when 6 were seen close to shore before turning North and past Stroma.
    The group consisted of 1 Bull 3 females and 2 juveniles.

    The latest encounter was on Saturday the 17th when 8 animals were seen to the North of Stroma heading East.
    This group consisted of 2 large males the remainder is uncertain.
    The reason for this was the rib was carring a group of childeren who were not to keen to get closer so the rib turned away before they could fully investigate the group.

    Colin

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    Default More Orca sightings 18-5-08

    The Pentland Venture John O'Groats Ferry so i'm informed saw Orcas tonight between Stroma and the skerries.
    Also uncomfirmed report that they saw them on Sunday.

    If any one wants to try and see Orcas i would suggest they try around the time that
    Low Tide starts to turn at Duncansby Head.
    That should be about 16.58pm on the 20th May Give it 30 minutes either side.
    Remember the Pentland Firth is quite wide so even if they are there you may not be able to see them if they are to far out.

    Colin

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    Default Orcas 19-5-08

    Now have confirmed reports that Orcas were seen by the John O'Groats Ferry Monday evening at aprox 19.15pm. No sighting on Sunday.
    This evening i went straight to Duncansby Head arriving at 18.00pm to find my friend Kas had got there first.
    A minke was seen at 18.50pm several miles out going East.
    At 19.10pm i heard a shriek from Kas saying i see them.
    They were right next to the ferry port on South Ronaldsay, the ferry had also seen them.
    We watched them splashing ,tail slapping,leaping and spy hopping up until 21.50pm when we lost sight of them.
    There were 2 large Males and 4 females.

    Colin

  15. #15
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    The Aberdeen lifeboat crew were on passage past Wick today and saw 3 Orca, 2 males and a small female. They were 3 miles offshore.
    INfo courtesy of Billy miller of the Thurso Lifeboat. Thanks Billy.
    Away with the birds

  16. #16
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    Default Caithness Killer Whale sightings to 21-6-08

    Pentland Firth
    4th May x6....17th May x8.....19th May x6.....20th May x6 also seen from Duncansby
    Wick
    8th June x3
    Dunnet Head
    Unconfirmed sighting 15th June

    Colin Bird
    Sea watch Coordinator NE

  17. #17
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    Default Killer Whales 21-6-08

    North Coast Adventure rib encountered 9 Killer Whales in the Pentland Firth at about 4pm between Stroma and John 0'Groats on Saturday.
    There was 1 large Bull 2 females and 6 juveniles.
    Thats their 3rd encounter with Killer Whales this Summer.

  18. #18
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    Right thats it--signed up for America this year,but it's gonna' be caithness next year

  19. #19
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    Default Orca sighting 5-7-08

    Reported sighting in the Pentland Firth on the 5th July by Andy Smart.
    (Orkney side of Firth)

  20. #20
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    Report of 5 at Portskerra on 04.08.08, 2 males and 3 females.
    Away with the birds

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