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Spring cetacean specials

Posted by Brydon Thomason on Saturday 17th April 2010 | Sea Mammals in Shetland

Spring cetacean specials indeed! April really is shaping up to be quite a month for sea-mammals and not just the exhilarating Orca! After my first encounter on the 23rd of March I was favoured by fortune not just once but twice in four days with close encounters with Killer whales.

Once again, Yell Sound (the channel between Shetland Mainland and the Island of Yell) was the place to be. Two of the bulls, which I recognised from the sighting in March made their way rather effortlessly North with the ebe tide. This really was something I thought to myself, two sightings in just a couple of weeks and so early in spring. It is usually well into May/June before Orca sightings begin to ‘heat up’. Then only four days later, on the 12th, the same two bulls accompanied with eight or more whales (the same pod from the March sighting) traveled South through Yell Sound. What was even more exciting is that at this same time there was an additional three whales heading in the same direction across on the other side of the sound, which I would assume to part of the same ‘super pod’.

What was probably the same pod of 10 or more, was seen moving South off Sumburgh Head on the 15th- the circumnavigation of our Isles by these enthrawling sea-mammals continues…

As if the Killer whale encounter had not been enough excitement, we were also enjoyed a pod of at least six Risso’s dolphin on the 9th (yes- in between the Orca encounters!).