From Ian Hastie –
My neighbour had tipped me off earlier and I was watching three garganey duck (2 drake, 1 female) in the bay, a scarce North East visitor and the first time I’d seen the species in Stonehaven.
After a few minutes they flew North towards Cowie so I ventured in that direction. I didn’t manage to relocate them but was enjoying watching two groups of long tailed duck, a summer plumaged red throated diver, nice stuff really.
Anyway, a birder I knew turned up looking for the garganey I’d reported and I told them I hadn’t relocated them but we continued looking.
After a few minutes I watched with my mouth open as a large fin moved past 6.30 pm (it was a bull orca). It took me a few seconds to utter ‘orca’. It was apparent there were at least four in the group but probably more. The group moved fairly swiftly North and my last more distant sighting was about 650pm.
I had put news out on local wildlife grapevines and a few keen watchers moved to key points along the coastline. The orcas were sighted off Muchalls, Newtonhill, Portlethen and Doonies so it was gratifying that so many people managed to catch up with this elusive mammal.