Three northern bottlenose whales were spotted from the MV Sheerwater, a ferry that runs between the Inner Hebrides. Ronny Dyer, an experienced cetacean observer, reported the whales between Arisaig and the island of Eigg on late afternoon on the 28th August. The animals were seen on the surface of the sea and blowing for several minutes, giving all aboard the ferry a good view.
Beaked whales are one of the least-known families of large marine mammals and are normally found in off-shore deep waters in the Atlantic, the Bering Sea or North Sea. Northern bottlenose whales are easily identifiable by their bulbous foreheads and can grow to eight metres in length.
Since this sighting, two northern bottlenose whales were stranded on the 1st September on the coast of Skegness, both of which died after rescue attempts. Another northern bottlenose whale has been reported on the 6th September from Sunderland, entangled in fishing gear but self-freed.