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23rd April 2015

Humpback Whale Spotted off North Norfolk Coast

A bird watching enthusiast on the look out for a rare bird in Kelling, near Holt was amazed when he spotted what experts believe was a humpback whale off the coast. Luckily the bird lover, Kayn Forbes had the presence of mind to take a film recording of the creature although he wasn't sure what exactly he had spotted at first.

Wildlife experts have confirmed that what he filmed was extremely likely to have been a humpback whale on its way northwards to the Arctic Ocean. These creatures have only been seen twice in Norfolk, in autumn 2013 and November 2014 but this latest sighting is the first recorded one in the spring months.

The birdwatcher was looking out to sea at Kelling at around 11 o'clock in the morning on a Sunday when he saw something out of the corner of his eye and began filming the video. Mr Forbes stated that although it was quite some distance away it was obviously very big and that he knew he should take a recording of it. The tail of the whale can be seen slapping the waves with a huge splash. Norfolk cetaceans recorder Carl Chapman confirmed that the distinct tail slapping was from a humpback whale and not another species such as blue fin tuna or basking shark. The owner of Norfolk Wildlife Tours and Education continued that whales usually spend their summers in the Arctic Circle and during the winter months they move south into the Atlantic, although it is possible that sometimes one or two may spend their winter in the North Sea. The video shot by Mr Forbes clearly shows the tail shape of a humpback whale and the tail slapping by the whale is typical behaviour by that species of whale.

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