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Walrus, North Ronaldsay

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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 17:46   #1
birdieboy123
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Walrus, North Ronaldsay

Apparently a Walrus was photographed off North Ron today via Twitter
https://twitter.com/wykebirding/stat...142322177?s=21
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Old Thursday 8th March 2018, 18:13   #2
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Ouch.... probably never be seen again though. But one can hope....

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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 07:02   #3
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Fast asleep on beach on Sanday. NOW !!!!!!
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 07:58   #4
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Anybody else up for going from south, trying to get across to Sanday tomorrow?
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 08:28   #5
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Five seats available on a boat to Sanday or North Ronaldsay leaving Kirkwall 11.00am Saturday (to meet car ferries from Scrabster or Gills Bay). Phone me 07836 283064.
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 10:31   #6
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I'm told it's still there late morning....
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 14:51   #7
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Nobody else wants to come on my boat tomorrow? Five Swarts still available. Phone or text me if interested, though you'll need to get yourself to the Orkney ferry that departs Gills Bay (John OGroats) at 9.30 tomorrow morning. You can't book it online now but you can book it by phone or just turn up. Always room for footpassengers OK even if your car can't fit on.,
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 14:53   #8
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Seats not swarts
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Old Friday 9th March 2018, 19:31   #9
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I would have Steve but I'm down with the lergy. Shocking timing! Good luck.

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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 06:52   #10
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Walrus still present in same place, but has rolled over !!
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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 07:47   #11
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To confirm the Walrus is in the same place as yesterday. We are politely requesting that the animal is only viewed from the road to minimise disturbance. He was offering amazing views from the road yesterday and hasn't moved. Thank you in advance and good luck!
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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 08:08   #12
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To confirm the Walrus is in the same place as yesterday. We are politely requesting that the animal is only viewed from the road to minimise disturbance. He was offering amazing views from the road yesterday and hasn't moved. Thank you in advance and good luck!
Could you please post a late afternoon update.

I am looking at coming tomorrow.

Thanks

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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 08:14   #13
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08:51 pecked by Gull and wobbled into the sea. Not seen since......
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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 09:17   #14
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Can't get up till Thursday because of work...but any latecomers fancying a car share if its still about next week drop me a PM (Midlands)
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Old Saturday 10th March 2018, 11:17   #15
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Hi Paul, We've dipped, of course, darn it. Could you possibly do me a very great favour and send me a direct message immediately if you hear of it reappearing anywhere. We plan on staying on Orkney for a few days just in case. Do you have my mobile no. (same as was published in Birding World)?
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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 08:57   #16
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Anyone know what age it is?
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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 09:59   #17
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Anyone know what age it is?
The assumption seems to be adult male, it has serious tusks on it.

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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 11:24   #18
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How has this animal been taken so far away from it's normal range?

I know that they spend a lot of time in the water feeding but I can't imagine that they're strong swimmers as such, certainly not pelagic and rarely moving far from the coast? Has it been swept away from the coast in the recent storms?

What's the closest population, Svaalbard?


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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 11:42   #19
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How has this animal been taken so far away from it's normal range?

I know that they spend a lot of time in the water feeding but I can't imagine that they're strong swimmers as such, certainly not pelagic and rarely moving far from the coast? Has it been swept away from the coast in the recent storms?

What's the closest population, Svaalbard?


A
I'm not sure why you imagine they aren't strong swimmers. We know a Polar Bear can swim a hundred miles at a stretch or more - after all they turn up in Iceland from time to time - and it is inconceivable that a much more aquatically adapted mammal such as a Walrus can't beat that by a very long way.

In any case there are a number of British records. One reason they seem difficult to catch up with is that they don't seem to stick, which also tends to suggest that they are very strong swimmers with minimal recovery times before setting off home. The last one (I think) departed almost straightaway and was recorded in Norway near Bergen not very long afterwards.

If only they were as easy as Bearded Seals....

That still leaves the displacement question and I can't answer that except to say that it seems to happen to all Arctic species occasionally. Ice floe drifting South and melting under it perhaps?

John

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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 12:49   #20
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I
last one (I think) departed almost straightaway and was recorded in Norway near Bergen not very long afterwards.
And of course there was the one near Bergen (if not the one you mention here) that spent a day sunbathing on a beach while we, blissfully unaware, ambled about just a few kilometres to its east
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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 13:53   #21
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And of course there was the one near Bergen (if not the one you mention here) that spent a day sunbathing on a beach while we, blissfully unaware, ambled about just a few kilometres to its east
That's the one: having been on a twitch for it aborted en route North in Yorkshire, I then missed it again in Norway despite it being very close by. Happy I was not!

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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 14:59   #22
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I can’t find any detail but there are records for Spain and Belgium also.
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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 16:20   #23
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I'm not sure why you imagine they aren't strong swimmers. We know a Polar Bear can swim a hundred miles at a stretch or more - after all they turn up in Iceland from time to time - and it is inconceivable that a much more aquatically adapted mammal such as a Walrus can't beat that by a very long way.

In any case there are a number of British records. One reason they seem difficult to catch up with is that they don't seem to stick, which also tends to suggest that they are very strong swimmers with minimal recovery times before setting off home. The last one (I think) departed almost straightaway and was recorded in Norway near Bergen not very long afterwards.

If only they were as easy as Bearded Seals....

That still leaves the displacement question and I can't answer that except to say that it seems to happen to all Arctic species occasionally. Ice floe drifting South and melting under it perhaps?

John
I know they swim obviously but they aren't designed for long distance movements is what I meant.


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Old Sunday 11th March 2018, 16:51   #24
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I know they swim obviously but they aren't designed for long distance movements is what I meant.


A
Courtesy Wikipedia but a starting point, under Migration in the Walrus entry it states:

"The migration between the ice and the beach can be long-distance and dramatic."

So it would appear they are designed for long-distance movements.

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Old Monday 12th March 2018, 00:39   #25
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The assumption seems to be adult male, it has serious tusks on it.

John
Thanks! 'Adult' would be, what, 5 years or more? 10 years or more?

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Ice floe drifting South and melting under it perhaps?

John
Very unlikely for Orkney - the water is much too warm for ice floes, and is against the sea currents too. It'd have to swim actively against the North Atlantic Drift to get there.

Perhaps something wrong with its navigation system? Maybe similar, a Harp Seal in Northumbs a few years ago was an elderly male with an eye infection and other age-related degeneration that could have impaired its navigation [it was taken into care but died after a couple of weeks, details from its post-mortem].
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