The Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was on a routine training exercise on Sunday the 19th when John Ewer and his crew spotted something unusual in the water, just three miles of the mouth river Spey. A group of nine whales were laying on the surface, with large bulbous heads and noses clearly visible from the air. The crew managed to get some video footage of the whales, which were later identified as soerm whales.
These are deep water species living in the open ocean, feeding on the squid and deep water fish of the continental slopes, although every now and then some accidentally enter the North Sea, and usually strand after struggling to find food in the shallow shelf waters. However there has been several unusually sightings of beaked whale species in the Moray Firth this summer and autumn, and locals have reportedly seen Danish squid fishing boats in the Inner Moray Firth recently. A sudden migration of squid into the area might explain why these sperm whales had ventured into these shallow waters, so far from their natural ocean habitat.