A sperm whale off Torbay, South Devon that was sighted a month ago has been seen again in the same location in the early morning on July 21st. This was reported by Trevor Smart who was fishing in his dinghy near Paignton when the animal surfaced 20 metres behind him! The Sperm whale was first spotted in South Devon on the 28th of June, a rare sighting for this species as they normally feed in deep waters in the north west Atlantic. Sperm Whales have been known to occasionally travel into the western English Channel however it is an extremely rare case for one to be seen this far east in such shallow waters. Although the appearance of this animal is remarkable and exciting there are fears that this animal may strand. Please send in sightings of this animal and any cetacean to email@example.com or 01545 561227.
On the 28th June at 09:30 observers were shocked to see a large whale very close to the shore off Torbay, South Devon. It was in fact a sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, the largest toothed whale on the planet reaching more than 18 metres in length. The most distinguishing feature of this species in the huge square head which is one third to one quarter of the total body length. Another good way to recognize this species is the blow which has a forward and left direction unlike other whales. This species feeds on deep sea squid and fish close to the edge of the continental shelf in the North Atlantic. It is rare for these animals to come onto the shelf into shallow waters although they occasionally have ventured into the western English Channel. However, it is very rare for the animal to travel as far east as this in Channel and to come so close to shore. There have been further reports later in the day of the animal travelling towards Berry Head. To view the video taken by observer Dean Tapley click here.
Sperm whale (x1)28 Jun 2010 09:30 Off Torbay, South Devon by Dean Tapley.
Sperm whale (x1)28 Jun 2010 Off Goodrington, Torbay, S Devon by Julia Willmin.
Sperm whale (x1)28 Jun 2010 09:00 Three Beaches, S of Goodrington, S Devon by Edward Boyle.
Sperm whale (x1)28 Jun 2010 08:00 Near Thatchers Rock, Torquay, S Devon by John Lee.
Sperm whale (x1)26 Jun 2010 Babbacombe Bay, S Devon by Viv Townsend. Sperm whale (x1)29 Jun 2010Btwn Daddyhole Plain & Berryhead,S Devon by Martin Cox.
Sperm whale (x1)21 Jul 2010 07:00 Torquay Harbour by Trevor Smart.
Sperm whale (x1)2 Jul 2010 19:30 Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, S Devon by Anna Howard.