Whale of a sighting at the Isle of May

The killer whales that were spotted off the May Isle.
The killer whales that were spotted off the May Isle.

The Isle of May has hosted some spectacular wildlife in its time, but nothing as impressive as a recent sighting when the island residents discovered six killer whales.

The animals, including one bull, four females and a youngster, were spotted on 28 May. They moved slowly along the east side of the island before checking out the grey seal colony on the north tip of the island. After one hour of viewing, the pod eventually headed off out into deeper water and north towards the Fife coastline.

The spectacular sight was witnessed by all staff and researchers on the island and represents only the third modern day record of these marauding giants. David Steel, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Isle of May reserve manager said, “To see killer whales in the UK is a very special experience, but to see them in the Firth of Forth is even more special.”

David added, “The shout went up across the island from the team and, as you could imagine, pandemonium let loose as people were running for binoculars, shoes and running off in all directions.”

Following the chaotic scenes, everyone assembled on the east side of the island to watch the pod move north allowing great views of these rare visitors.

The killer whales were followed by the first Minke whale sighting on 30 May, along with a scattering of harbour porpoise sightings. And with the onset of summer, there will likely be more cetacean sightings from the island.