Sunday, 21 August 2011



The new seawatch place, on the Brough of Birsay, turned up trumps again with brief but conclusive views of a male Orca heading west, probably about a couple of klicks out. Seawatching for shearwaters from the eastern end of The Brough, I'd paddled across before six and started seeing Manx straight away. The Orca appeared just before seven, surfacing briefly just twice, showing the huge dorsal fin clearly, the first I've seen for thirty years. Also during this session two Sooty Shearwaters and 17 Manx, a very brief view of a storm-petrel, not IDed to species, several Bonxies and a few Arctic Terns and Kittiwakes.

Earlier in the day I'd searched Birsay Palace beach for waders, 7 Sanderling, 8 Whimbrel, 1 Knot were the best of the bunch but 77 Ringed Plovers shouldn't go without mention. Back at the ranch the Ruff appear to have gone with the rain increasing the water level in The Shunan, the Teal like it though, increasing to 38.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff - I'm heading for Orkney on Saturday for the first time and while I know its a real long shot to see an Orca its great to know that they are out there if you're at the right time and right place.

Alastair said...

Bedlington, I've left a message on your blog re getting info whilst you're up here.

Alastair said...

Nearly forgot, there was a Minke Whale seen today from Hoxa Head, NW side of South Ronaldsay. This is a good spot for cetacean watching and Harbour Porpoise and Orca have been seen fairly regularly here through this spring and summer.