Fancy com­ing across you here still hav­ing a whale of a time

wildlife: Sonny’s back in the frame in Ice­land af­ter de­light­ing Firth of Forth watch­ers

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Ch­eryL PeeBLes cpee­bles@the­courier.co.uk

Whale watch­ers who en­joyed a se­ries of dis­plays by a hump­back whale off the coast of Fife have spo­ken of their de­light af­ter it was spot­ted in Ice­landic wa­ters.

Paul Smith, of Bri­tish Divers Marine Life Res­cue, said he was 99.9% cer­tain it was the same whale, iden­ti­fied by dis­tinc­tive mark­ings on its un­der­side.

He said the ap­pear­ance off Ice­land would give ex­perts valu­able clues to the mam­mal’s mi­gra­tion pat­terns, par­tic­u­larly if it de­cided on mak­ing a re­turn visit to the Forth.

Sonny, as the whale was nick­named dur­ing its Fife for­ays in 2017 and Jan­uary this year, was caught on cam­era off Dalvik, breach­ing re­peat­edly.

Footage taken by Arc­tic Sea Tours, which runs whale watch­ing trips in Ice­land, shows the crea­ture leap­ing out of the wa­ter to the de­light of watch­ing spec­ta­tors on a nearby boat.

Mr Smith said Sonny ap­peared to be in good shape.

He said: “It’s up there do­ing what it should be do­ing. This is part of its mi­gra­tion. Whales go there to feed and go to warmer wa­ters to breed. It’s good to know it’s up there and we can mon­i­tor its pat­tern and travel di­rec­tion.

“It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if it re­turns next year.

“The Forth has be­come a real hot-spot now for hump­backs. It is be­com­ing a stop-off ground, ty­ing in with ris­ing fish­ing stocks.”

Firth of Forth vis­i­tor Sonny breach­ing and plung­ing in ice­landic wa­ters. Pho­to­graph courtesy of Arc­tic Sea Tours

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