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Humpback whale returns to Sea Palling and Waxham

PUBLISHED: 10:36 11 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:37 11 November 2013

A humpback whale was spotted off the Norfolk coast. Seen here off the coast at Horsey. Picture by: Caroline Spinks

A humpback whale was spotted off the Norfolk coast. Seen here off the coast at Horsey. Picture by: Caroline Spinks

Caroline Spinks

The humpback whale which delighted wildlife enthusiasts on the Norfolk coast last month has returned to Sea Palling and Waxham.

According to reports the creature, estimated to be about 10 to 12 metres in length, was spotted off the east Norfolk coast over the weekend.

The whale was first spotted off Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, on October 29 when it was just 600m from shore.

It moved to Winterton-on-Sea, where it swam and fed in front of onlookers for at least two hours, and swam further along to Horsey, Winterton and Sea Palling the day after.

Robin Chittenden, 53, from Unthank Road, Norwich, said he heard a report of a sighting yesterday but the whale was further out to sea, compared to when it was spotted during its first visit.

Mr Chittenden, who runs Birdline East Anglia, said: “It is following the herring shoals. Wherever the best herring is, the whale will be found.”

He added it would be a bit tricky to locate and wildlife enthusiasts would have to use a telescope to find it.

But one sign to look for is gannets, which surround whales when they are feeding on herring.

Mr Chittenden said the number of herring this autumn was larger than normal.

“If the herring stock keeps increasing there is no reason why we should not expect to see more humpback whales,” he added.

Humpbacks spend the summer off Iceland and Norway and migrate to Africa in the winter.

Have you spotted the whale off the Norfolk coast? Contact reporter Sophie Wyllie on 01263 513160, email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk or tweet @swyllie

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