Pilot Whale delights visitors to Swanpool Beach
A fully grown Pilot Whale was spotted off Swanpool Beach today where it stayed for a few hours.
Visitors to the beach and the Swanpool Beach Cafe were treated to the rare sight of the whale which at some point came right inshore.
It seemed to be feeding coming up to the surface for a few seconds before diving under the water and leaving a "whale" footprint.
Mark Simmonds, from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: "Pilot whales are known from all around the UK. They are called pilot whales because they were very closely associated with vessels and maybe still be. It may have come close to shore because it was running behind a vessel."
However, he said that if the whale was only 20 yards from shore then that was "more extraordinary."
"We wouldn't expect it to come in so close to shore," he added.
Mr Simmons said he would alert the rescue team to monitor the situation, in case the whale was in trouble and needed help.
"The bigger whales are normally out to sea. If there is one in very shallow water you have to keep an eye on it. But pilot whales are definitely natural to UK waters," he concluded.
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