Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Whales prevails through gales and hails.

14th May
Well, maybe not quite gales, but it was certainly a strong southerly wind which, when combined with the occasional driving hail shower, made for unpleasant viewing conditions at times. A Waxwing graced the Obs garden a couple of times today, an Osprey flew north from the North Light during the early afternoon (and probably took very little time to get to Shetland given the wind!) and an immature Iceland Gull was seen a couple of times around the south, but otherwise there were very few new migrants to report, although the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still in the North Haven area and the Ortolan was seen again in the south of the island.
It's been a good spring for Waxwing sightings, not a surprise really given the number that arrived in the country last autumn.
Sighting of the day though belonged to the pod of seven Killer Whales which were first seen off Wester Lother, when they passed behind the stacks before heading past North Light then rounding Buness and heading south. Thankfully, a lot of the Obs staff, guests, islanders and other visitors to the island were able to catch at least a glimpse of them as messages pinged around the island tracking their progress.
Becki made it onto Buness in time to catch up with the Orcas as they passed close by and managed to get a couple of great pictures.
It's just as well Becki finally got round to unpacking her camera yesterday - great pictures Becki and thanks for letting us use them on the blog.
We’re still hoping that the easterlies that have been promised for tomorrow come to pass and that an entertaining few days will continue to improve.


  1. Do you know if they are the same pod seen off of Shapinsay on Monday? A pod of 5-7 were seen heading north on the west side of Shapinsay on 13th. One had a floppy fin (which was seen a few weeks before), plus "no.32 male". I didn't see them pass Papay but could be the same pod?

  2. Hi Sarah. I didn't get great views, but we'll see which are the best photos from the day and get them sent off for comparison. I'm pretty sure there were no floppy finned individuals in the group though, so probably not the same ones.


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