Humpback whales spotted from Dunbar harbour in rare sighting

Two humpback whales were spotted by a Dunbar local on Monday night.

The pair, thought to be a mother and a calf travelling North, were seen breaching the water about a mile out from Dunbar harbour.

Last month, another humpback was spotted in the Firth of Forth, by tourists on a boat heading from Anstruther to the Isle of May.

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Although once rare, humpback whales are now being seen more often in Scottish waters.

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In wintertime, the Firth of Forth is often used by the animals as a feeding ground as they prepare to head further north. However, it is rare to see them in the area in June.

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Jenny O’Neill, who helps run a Facebook page called Scottish Humpback ID/Forth Cetacean Sightings, said the sighting was “unusual for this time of year but great to see and hear.”

She has been watching humpbacks in the Firth of Forth since 2017, and said: “We see them every winter, usually from December-March.”

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A humpback whale photographed by Simon Chapman as it surfaced for air close to the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth last month.

"This year our first visitor stayed for exactly a month, leaving on New Year's Day, but previous visitors have stayed longer.”

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She gave advice to keen whale-watchers, and said: “For people looking to spot the whales, there are some great hotspots along the Fife coastline in winter.

"There are always loads of friendly watchers around the areas where the whales can be spotted from land, so a pair of binoculars and some patience are all you need to try to see them for yourself. It really is amazing to see, and something I never tire of.”