Sunday 9 June 2013

Thrills, spills and kills.

8th June
The birding was fairly quiet today as we await the forecasted easterly wind with keen anticipation.
The Temminck's Stint belied  the species short-staying reputation and remained on Da Water for a second day.
A singing Chiffchaff was at Schoolton, othr notable migrants were restricted to lingerers (Subalpine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, 2 Snow Bunting and 2 Short-eared Owl) and a few new arrivals (2 Wood Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and Grey Wagtail).
But the 'other wildlife' section of the Log scored highly. Not only was there a Minke Whale (from the Good Shepherd) and a Porpoise (off Meoness), but, thanks to a text from Iain, we were able to enjoy superb views of a group of Killer Whales that spent around four hours completing a circuit of the island, before turning round at Sheep Rock and heading close in north and eventually away towards Foula. Magical.
The group was thought to be around 15 strong, with at least two calves.

A successful hunt off Da Burrian, they seemed to spend a lot of time chasing prey (particularly seals, but also Eiders), although on occasion they also swam straight past seals in the water and ignored them.

A large bull heading close in past Skadan.
This distinctive male is thought to be the animal first recorded in 1980, with Peter Evans (a FIBOT Director) having seen him elsewhere in the UK.
A tail fluke is shown as the group close in on prey in the South Harbour.
The distinctive nick in the fin may mean that we are able to trace the origins of this animal as well.
A seal tries to flee the whales in South Harbour.
Part of the group together.

A Puffin watches an Orca approaching from Sheep Rock.

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