Sunday, 22 July 2012

Killer Whales

Værøy didn't have many new birds to offer today although a hunting dark phase Arctic Skua (tyvjo) put on a good show as it harrassed a Common Tern (makrellterne). We also had three Wrens (gjerdesmett) singing from north facing scree slopes where grass was the only vegetation. Mammals though gave a really good showing. On a walk along the north coast we had a Grey Seal (havert) that kept surfacing in the same spot and having a good look around. Returning past the same spot the seal was still there and then I noticed something in the corner of my eye. Putting my bins up I saw there was something moving fast just under the surface of the water alongside some rocks a couple of hundred metres oØut. Then a fin surfaced. My first words were dolphin but I had 't taken a breath before I changed to KILLER WHALE!! (spekkhoger). There wad a pod of three animals including an obvious youngster and by their behaviour they werMe clearly hunting seals. They headed towards land and started to swim only 50 metres from the beach before they were lost to our sight behind around the corner of the cliff. We made our way the 50 metres to give us a better view as fast as we could on the treachorous path but never saw them again. Another Grey Seal further along that kept bobing up and looking nervously around was probably a sign that they had made their presence known. Driving back to the south of the island where the road cuts over the innermost part of the harbour we had an Otter swimming in the water and then surfacing only metres from the car before diving again and disappearing. Quite an unforgettable day.

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