Saturday 17 August 2019

Dolphins spotted off East Yorkshire coast

They are thought to be members of a population that is regularly seen in the Moray Firth.

(Craig Thomas/Flamborough Bird Observatory/PA)
(Craig Thomas/Flamborough Bird Observatory/PA)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

Nature lovers in East Yorkshire have been treated to the sight of a pod of dolphins off the coast.

The bottlenose dolphins were caught on camera last week off Flamborough Head near Bridlington by Craig Thomas, chair of the Flamborough Bird Observatory.

ipanews_4eeb049c-79c9-4df5-9367-90d2e205e947_embedded2091896
(Craig Thomas/Flamborough Bird Observatory)

While sightings of bottlenose dolphins in the area are not unheard of, Thomas estimates they are a roughly annual event, this one was unusual as one of the dolphins has been identified.

Barbara Cheney, research fellow at the University of Aberdeen’s Lighthouse Field Station, told the Press Association: “We were able to identify one of the pictures Craig sent of a bottlenose dolphin from the east coast of Scotland population, an individual #1217 called Pea who has been regularly seen around the Tayside area since 2015.”

Ms Cheney added that, while none of the others could be identified, “they are very likely dolphins we regularly see in the Moray Firth and east coast of Scotland”.

ipanews_4eeb049c-79c9-4df5-9367-90d2e205e947_embedded2091900
(Craig Thomas/Flamborough Bird Observatory)

Sightings of the Moray Firth dolphins off the coast of England are becoming more common according to Dr Peter Evans, director of the Sea Watch Foundation.

“A number of the animals photographed off East Yorkshire look to be relatively young individuals and those tend to disperse and explore new areas,” he told the Press Association.

“However, with the increased regularity of sightings in the region it could be that one or more groups are splitting off from the main east Scottish community.”

ipanews_4eeb049c-79c9-4df5-9367-90d2e205e947_embedded2091904
(Craig Thomas/Flamborough Bird Observatory)

Dr Evans said the reason for their appearance near Bridlington was almost certainly a search for food.

“Bottlenose dolphins have varied diets including sea bass, salmon, whiting, cod, herring, sandeel, sprat, saithe, haddock, pouts, hake, scad, and mullets,” he said. “A number of these species occur off East Yorkshire.”

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News