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Thread: Killer Whale (Orca)

  1. #21

    Default Killer whales feeding patterns

    There are 3 brackets of orcas - ones that occupy fixed locations near to land, ones that spend most of there time far out at sea and transitory ones. A large pod can be as many as sixty - smaller pods could be breakaways from larger pods. The primary food for the majority of orcas is herring. However transitory orcas (which is what we have ) most commonly feed on seals.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithp View Post
    There are 3 brackets of orcas - ones that occupy fixed locations near to land, ones that spend most of there time far out at sea and transitory ones. A large pod can be as many as sixty - smaller pods could be breakaways from larger pods. The primary food for the majority of orcas is herring. However transitory orcas (which is what we have ) most commonly feed on seals.
    Orca pods are usually family groups, but you do get break aways of two and threes.
    The very large pods you mention are when smaller pods come together and form large numbers for short periods.
    It's been reported that apart from socialising there is no interaction between the individual pods, (sexual)
    There have been sightings of these large pods to the West of Shetland near the oil platform.
    Andy Foot (Aberdeen Uni) also reported one well out to the East of Shetland during early Summer.
    Andy is doing a survey on Orcas and is making ID records of the Orcas seen around Scotland.
    He estimates the number seen around Scotland and the Islands at 60, most are being seen over and over again giving the impression that there are a lot more.
    A friend of mine who does Mammal sighting and recording for oil companies has reported seeing groups of 80+.
    I hope he brings me some pics taken with his new camera from his present trip.
    What a fantastic sight such a large group must be.

    Colin

  3. #23
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    5 seen at Strathy the day following the Portskerra sighting.

    Re the 9 seen round Stroma in June, 4 of them were seen in Shetland yesterday, with reports of another 5 in the area. They know the 4 seen yesterday are 4 of the Stroma 9, by using photo ID. Going the composition of the 4 in this group, it looks likely to be the 4 I saw in Orkney during July whilst travelling back from Shetland on the Ferry.
    Away with the birds

  4. #24
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    Default Killer Whales 18-9-08

    Just received a report of 2 Killer Whales seen breaching off the Wick Coast between
    11.00 - 12.00 on the 18-9-08.
    The Whales were believed to be Adult females
    These were observed by Michael Millar a Creel boat skipper.

    It is also reported that Killer Whales were also observed from the Old Coast Guard House over looking the Wick Estuary on the 17th September.
    No details given for this sighting.

    Colin
    Seawatch Foundation
    coordinator
    NE Scotland

  5. #25
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    Default Orca Info

    Message from Andy Foot Aberdeen university.

    "So far the photo-identfication work on Shetland killer whales has shown that the same whales return each summer and are part of the Icelandic herring-eating population. Any photos collected this year will be used to estimate birth and mortality rates and the size of this population, and help set up a baseline for long-term monitoring of the population's health. We'd therefore greatly appreciate copies of any photographs of killer whales from Shetland, Orkney or Caithness this year. Andy Foote a.d.foote@abdn.ac.uk"

    We in Caithness usually start getting Killer Whales migrating north through Caithness waters late May and through June into early July.
    This period is not set in stone but based on sightings over the last few years.
    The normal hot spots are Pentland Firth from Dunnet Head to Duncansby Head, Sinclair Bay near Kiess and Wick.
    Other places are Sarclet, Lybster, Whaligoe and even Dunbeath.
    The rising tide being best time to watch for these Trekers feeding on Caithness seals while heading North.

    Colin

  6. #26
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    Dare I say it.
    Its coming to that time again.
    Pointless post I know, its just I am getting a bit impatient for the second half of May as the tend to be in the Firth at some point a day or two around the twentieth.
    Away with the birds

  7. #27
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    Default Killer Whales.

    A group of Killer Whales reported off John O' Groats at 10.50am on Friday the 8th May 2009
    The Killer Whales were reported to be in 2 groups, Bull and Female in each group.
    Report received via Kas and Ivor of the John O' Groats Ferry.

    Colin

  8. #28
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    5 Orca seen by Seabird from Duncansby Head on Thursday evening 21.05 around 1830hrs. They were between South Ronaldsay and Muckle Skerry, then on to Little Skerry.
    Away with the birds

  9. #29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kas View Post
    Dare I say it.
    Its coming to that time again.
    Pointless post I know, its just I am getting a bit impatient for the second half of May as the tend to be in the Firth at some point a day or two around the twentieth.
    Wow that's quite an exact calculation, and looks like you were spot on!! Wish I'd seen them - must be amazing to watch!!

  10. #30
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    Was more gutted as I had organised to meet Seabird at 1830 the time he saw them but was running late as I had no car. The 20th and 21st of May are dates in the last 3 years I have seen them in the Firth, certainly a good time to look for them . For me they are natures greatest sight.
    Away with the birds

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