Rare whale seen off the Cornish coast

May 17th, 2016

Cornwall is one of the best places in the UK to see sea wildlife, as the land juts into the Atlantic Ocean. There are numerous boat cruises along the coast that you can take out to sea, to the outlying islands and the headlands and cliffs home to lots of Cornish wildlife.

If you are out on a boat cruise you might be able to see dolphins, porpoise, seals or otters and if you are very lucky, a whale. There have been recent sightings of a rare arctic bowhead whale seen off the coast, not far from our Cornwall cottages.

This species of whale is rarely seen in British waters, and was spotted at the weekend in shallow waters at Long Rock Beach near Penzance. The 23ft (7m) bowhead is the second sighting of the species in the last 15 months around Cornwall, with another bowhead being seen close to the Isles of Scilly in February last year.

The Sea Watch Foundation said the whales appeared to be juveniles, and both sightings could have been of the same animal.

Bowhead whales – scientific name of Balaena mysticetus – can grow up to 65ft (20m), second only in size to the blue whale and are usually found 2,000 miles north of Cornwall, and are known to live up to 200 years old. Dan Jarvis, the regional co-ordinator of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said there was an estimated population of 10,000 in the wild.

“We are not sure if it’s part of a trend, but it’s amazing to see an animal like that in our water,” he said.

Other posts you may like:

Discover the perfect spot for a picnic in Cornwall

Historic Cornish birds making a comeback

Photo by: Olga Shpak