That time I saw orca whales at St Kilda…

At this time of year I often struggle to know what to write about, there is only so many times I can write, the waterfalls at the Falls of Clyde are looking amazing right now (but seriously the falls are looking pretty spectacular after all this heavy rain)!

Boreray, orca whales and gannets (c) Laura Preston
Boreray, orca whales and gannets (c) Laura Preston

I know many of you were very interested in my trip to St Kilda back in June and I had promised to tell you more about it so I thought now would be the perfect time. St Kilda is actually an archipelago of a number of islands – Hirta, Dun, Soay, Levenish, Stac an Armin, Stac Lee and Boreray. When we left to return to Harris we were taken around the Stacs and Boreray by the boat operator. This gave us the chance to see the world’s now second largest gannet colony up close on Stac an Armin.

The weather was being kind to us and after our rather tumultuous journey to reach the island we were glad of calm seas on our return. Did you know a small group of around a dozen men were stranded on Boreray after an outbreak of small pox on Hirta? This meant there was no one to go and pick them up. If memory serves correctly I think they were stranded for 8 months before they were rescued!

As we navigated the islands a pod of orca whales emerged in front of us. They had caught a seal and were tossing it up into the air. These amazing animals came so close to the boat, seemingly oblivious to our presence and quite happy. They breached the water over and over and we were able to watch them for what seemed forever but was probably more like ten minutes. A totally unforgettable experience!

Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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Preface

At this time of year I often struggle to know what to write about, there is only so many times I can write, the waterfalls at the Falls of Clyde …

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