A Northern Bottlenose Whale was sighted off South Devon by Lisa Christopher and her husband on September 1st. Dr Chiara G. Bertulli, Sightings Officer at Sea Watch, had a lovely chat with Lisa to know more about this incredible and rare sighting. This is her story!
My husband Andy and I set out for our intended national trust walk from Branscombe village (South Devon) to Beer via the cliff tops and came to our first pit stop at Branscombe beach at around 1.20pm on Saturday 1st September. It was a beautiful late summer’s day and the beach and sea was full of people enjoying themselves. There were two people sat resting on a paddleboard in the sea when one suddenly shouted out ‘Dolphin!’
We all looked in the direction they were pointing and were amazed to see what we initially thought was a Dolphin swimming so close to shore, however as it started breaching and jumping out the water it soon became clear it was not a Dolphin as it had much more Whale like behaviour in the water. Soon all the beach was in awe of the display it treated us to for the next 5 minutes or so and I grabbed my camera to take some excited shots.
I cannot describe how special it felt, watching it breach and play in the water while we were just stood on a beach watching it, we knew we had witnessed something special, but it wasn’t until I got home and started researching what we had seen that I realised it could in fact have been a rare sighting of the Northern Bottlenose Whale. I sent our sighting report and photos off to the Seawatch Foundation who indeed confirmed it was the whale we had seen; we were so thrilled to hear that, what a privilege, not something we ever expected to see so close to our home!