Killer Whales Spend Day Swimming in River Clyde

A killer whale jumps in the Rover Clyde. Pic: Keith Hodgins

A pod of killer whales has been spotted swimming in the River Clyde.

Several of the animals, which are known to prefer colder waters, were seen from one of the ferries which plies the estuary of the Scottish river on Saturday.

 Witness @OorLorna said on Twitter: “Thank you @Western_Ferries for the fabulous view of the orcas. A once in a life time experience.”
A killer whale goes back beneath the surface of the river. Pic: Keith Hodgins
Image:A killer whale goes back beneath the surface of the river. Pic: Keith Hodgins
Four of the pod of six are seen swimming in the Clyde. Pic: Keith Hodgins

Another, Maureen Campbell, wrote on Facebook: “Best ferry journey ever. Amazing!!”

Pictures circulated on social media after the sightings between Dunoon in Argyll and Bute, and Gourock, Renfrewshire.

The pod, believed to be made up of five adults and a youngster, were also spotted in the stretch of water between Innellan and Wemyss Bay.

One of them was photographed jumping out of the water.

Corinne Gordon, out of hours coordinator for British Divers Marine Life Rescue, which helps stranded animals in UK waters, said her organisation had been monitoring the pod all day and they were safe.

“There are out in deep waters and are safe,” she said. “There was a pod of six – one bull, one calf and four females – and about 8.45pm they were heading west towards Greenock, in a deep shipping lane and away from danger.

“At one point they were heading east and got past Dumbarton and as far as up by Erskine Bridge, following food – shoals of fish and seals. There are plenty of seals in the Clyde at the moment.

“These are a pod that generally reside in Orkney and they’ve come down. It could be the weather or it could be food.

“We had one come into the Clyde couple of years ago. They are not strangers there but it’s not common.

“We are expecting them to go back out to sea and then head north.”

Orcas, as they are also known, are regularly seen in waters off Shetland and Orkney during the summer months.

They can travel of groups of up to 50.

The feeding grounds for the majority of north Atlantic orcas are off the coasts of Norway and Iceland.