HOW TO SEE ORCAS IN SCOTLAND
Encountering these highly mobile cetaceans isn’t easy, but a little research and patience will significantly improve your chances. May to September are the best months, from headlands along the north and west coast of Scotland and in Orkney and Shetland. The Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code provides guidelines: www.snh.scot/marinecode
Visit Duncansby Head, Strathy Point or Dunnet Head on a rising tide. There are also sightings from the John o’ Groats passenger ferry (www.jogferry.co.uk; 01955 611353).
Good locations include Sumburgh Head and Bressay Sound. Orcas are also often seen from the ferries crossing Yell and Bluemull Sounds. Local wildlife tour operators include Shetland Nature (www. shetlandnature.net, 01595 760 333, see p56 for the BBC Wildlife reader holiday) and Shetland Wildlife (www. shetlandwildlife.co.uk; 01950 460939).
spots include Hoxa Head and Burwick on South Ronaldsay, and Birsay in the west of Mainland.
Orcas can pop up anywhere around the Hebrides. Tiumpan Head on Lewis is a great spot. Local wildlife tour operators include Sea Life Surveys (www.sealifesurveys.com; 01688 302916) and Western Isles Wildlife (www.western-isles-wildlife.com; 01876 580619).