Orca Watch is back for 2019! Running from 17th May to 26th May, Sea Watch Foundation will be based on the cliffs of the Caithness coast in northern Scotland looking for the UK’s elusive resident orca pods.
This time of year is particularly special for this part of the coast in the UK because Scotland welcomes pods from Iceland who travel a 1000 mile journey visit just for the summer. Last year there were hundreds of sightings of Risso’s dolphins, Minke whales, Porpoises and of course Orcas; and each year the team attempt to take accurate records to match with existing photographs of known ‘commuters’ as they pass they through the area and to record new visitors.
As Summer approached, the team at Orcalab in British Columbia are monitoring the waters around their monitoring station carefully. Fife and his family have been spotted around 200km north of Orcalab’s permanent base but are yet to arrive in Johnstone Straight; but there is no sign yet of the arrival of Holly and her family but this pod was definitely heading south!
The team at Orcalab have plans to install new cameras at Robson Bight Ecological Reserve on the Strider rubbing beach. This beach is becoming more and more popular recently and the team are keen to capture close up views of the orcas to share on their camera streams for all to enjoy.
The first Minke whale and the first Humpback whale have been spotted by the team, a sure indicator that summer is well and truly on the way! The final (and definitely furriest) surprise visitor to the team was a young Coastal Wolf who stopped by near the lab on 30th April.