Eagle-eyed locals down in Co Wicklow spotted a whale swimming around the harbour earlier this morning. Managing to snap a few photos of the new visitor, experts have confirmed the animal to be a male Sowerby's beaked whale.
Described as a "deep-diving offshore species", Sowerby's beaked whales were first recorded stranded in Brandon Bay in Co Kerry back in 1864. A slim creature with an elongated, narrow beak and rounded forehead, they can reach depths of up to 1,500m.
Amazing footage taken by Eoin Byrne of a beaked whale in Wicklow Harbour this morning. IWDG heading down to check it out as beaked whales are deep-diving offshore species. pic.twitter.com/l127uj1wXL
— Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (@IWDGnews) July 4, 2020
Passersby have been enjoying watching the animal, however, members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have warned that Sowerby's Beaked whales are particularly susceptible to acoustic trauma - which would explain how he ended up in the harbour. Saying that the animal doesn't look to be in great condition, the whale is breathing regularly though does appear to be distressed and quite thin.
Usually found in deep waters, it's unlikely that the whale will be able to survive in the Irish Sea and the group has already made calls for resources to be made available to recover the animal's body after it passes.
Images via Twitter/Hannah Keogh IWDG
Need inspiration for staying at home? Sign up to our Lovin Home Comforts newsletter here.