Much cetacean excitement in and around Orkney this week. A pod of orcas circled the islands several times, coming close in shore at several locations and giving plenty of people the opportunity to see and photograph them.
Orkney has also been visited by a pod of pilot whales. The caused a bit of concern by being very close in to the shore and there were fears that they might beach themselves and become stranded. Teams of wildlife specialists and volunteers in small boats monitored the pod very closely and gently coaxed them back towards deeper water. But then…
The pod of pilot whales reappeared right in the harbour at Kirkwall, close to the boats and close enough for the people standing on the quaysides and slips to smell their breath. This is very unusual behaviour for these creatures who normally feed in deep water.
Once again, the whales were persuaded to head for deeper waters, but at the time of writing, they are still within sight of land, having moved around the headland towards Inganess Bay. They seem to be heading further off shore and their progress continues to be monitored.