Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Shetland Orcas

Shetland must be the number one spot for seeing Orcas. With two/ three pods around Shetland for around 9 months of the year there is plenty of opportunities to catch up with these great mammals

 This film crew filming Orcas from just above Toft

 I received a report of a pod of Orca moving south from Yell and was able to get to Mossbank just in time to see them , yesterday

 Now Orcas don't like large or fast moving boats and in this case the Yell ferries. They went across the front of the pod forcing them to move north.

 They seem to catch a seal off the southern tip island of Bigga before the ferries passed in front of them and they made their way up the eastern side of the island in about 1/2 hour

 They reappeared and again moved south keeping to the coast line of Bigga and moved very quickly to avoid another encounter with the ferries.

 Just before they came into view again a pod of 7 porpoise moved south quickly, possibly sensing Orcas, as they are a food item of these Killer Whales.

The pod moved quickly through the sound. These photos taken at a great distance from Mossbank

This is pod 19s with Mousa & co, often seen moving between Iceland, Shetland and Orkney from May through out the summer

This pod was seen in Orkney and didn't have a young one at that time so it seems that a little orca was born about 4 weeks and is doing well to keep up with the adults. Adult males coming into maturity around 13 years old while females between 6- 10 years old

The young can be born at any time of year with females mating several times of year. The young orcas are fed by the female for around 18 months

It is thought that Orcas  can live up to 35 years. They appear to becoming a regular feature of the Shetland Wildlife

Another seal is hunted down

Some folk spend several hours chasing the Orcas but on this occasion the pod disappeared after been seen at Lunning sound. This is a difficult section of coastline to observe

The young orca seen on the far left

It seems that seeing Orcas are on most peoples bucket list, whether resident or visitor.

#orcas, #shetland orcas, #shetland killer whales

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