On the 6th October, a rare sighting of six, possibly seven sperm whales was spotted by Sea Watch Regional Coordinator, Alan Airey at Burghead looking out to the Moray Firth. Alan spotted the animals with his scope originally six kilometres offshore but the animals came within three kilometres of the coast and could be seen with the naked eye. These animals were spotted just before midday and stayed in area for most of the day.
Sperm whales, the largest of all toothed whales are normally a deep water species. They have a worldwide distribution but those seen off the UK normally feed off the continental shelf in the North Atlantic. They regularly dive to depths of more than one kilometre to feed on deep water species such as squid. It is rare to see these animals in such an unfamiliar habitat such as the Moray Firth and particularly six of them. However, it is not unheard of as there have been a small number of sightings of the species in this region in previous years. Sadly, many sightings of the species in coastal waters result in strandings but so far there have been no reports of these animals since the 6th.
If you spot any cetacean, unusual or not, please report these sightings using the online form, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org/ 01545 561227.