Whale watching from the Pentland Firth

Hebridean whales and dolphin  Credit: Nienke van Geel, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
Hebridean whales and dolphin Credit: Nienke van Geel, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.
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In May each year the north coast is visited by some of the world’s most enigmatic yet well-known animals - the killer whale and dolphin.

This year the Sea Watch Foundation, Orca Watch is hoping to spot these cetaceans sometime between May 21-28, the time they make their annual passage through the Pentland Firth.

The North coast of Scotland is one of the best places to see these animals in the UK.

Species such as Risso’s dolphin, humpback whale, minke whale and orca can all be seen from the shore.

Sea Watch Foundation is a national charity that works with the public to survey and monitor cetaceans around the UK, with the aim of protecting them.

Anna Jemmett, Sea Watch volunteer and organiser of this year’s event, said: “It is wonderfully exciting to see a whale or dolphin in the wild for yourself and although it takes both luck and patience (and many layers of warm clothes!) the rewards are worth it, seeing a cetacean is magical!

“The aim of Orca Watch is to collect vital data on our visiting orcas and also the other cetacean species in the area, whilst informing the public about these special animals just off their shores.”

Sea Watch will have observers based at Duncansby Head for six hours every day of the watch and we welcome anyone who wishes to then to come along.As well as this there will be various other events throughout the week.

These will be organised by both Sea Watch Foundation and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). A full timetable can be found at www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/orca-watch-2016/ and the Caithness Sea Watching Facebook page will also be keeping everyone up to date with local sightings and events.

No experience is necessary and you can even join our short training event on Saturday May 21, or join WDC for another short training session on Saturday May 28.

For more information contact Kathy James at kathy.james@seawatchfoundation.org.uk, or telephone 01970 623906.