Birdwatcher captures rare footage of humpback whale off the north Norfolk coast

Humpback Whale off of Kelling, North Norfolk 12/04/2015 (photo by Youtube user: kayn forbes)

Humpback Whale off of Kelling, North Norfolk 12/04/2015 (photo by Youtube user: kayn forbes) - Credit: Archant

A wildlife enthusiast captured what is believed to be the first spring sighting of a humpback whale off the coast of north Norfolk.

Kayn Forbes was hoping to spot a rare bird in Kelling, near Holt, when he caught something out of the corner of his eye.

Wildlife experts confirmed the creature was almost certainly an extremely rare sighting of a humpback whale, most likely on its way back up north to the Arctic Circle.

Humpback whale sightings have been recorded twice in the county, once in autumn 2013 and again last November.

But Norfolk cetaceans recorder Carl Chapman said it was likely to be the first recorded spring passing of a humpback.

Mr Forbes, 23, was near the coast at Kelling at about 11am on Sunday when he shot the video.

The UEA Phd student, of Gowing Road, Norwich, said: 'It was really quite big. It was so far away but it still stuck out like a sore thumb.

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'It was quite a distance away and I didn't know what it was but knew I should take a picture of it.

'I watched it for about 15 minutes or so but had no idea how rare it was.'

Mr Chapman, who owns Norfolk Wildlife Tours and Education, said: 'Usually whales summer up in the Arctic Circle and will then travel south in the Atlantic. Possibly one or two travel south in the North Sea and spend the winter somewhere there.'

Although the whale is difficult to see clearly in the video, Mr Chapman ruled out a blue fin tuna and basking shark.

He added: 'In the video a distinct blow can be seen – these things are always difficult to see in strong winds and Kayn did well to get footage at all given the obvious distance and choppy conditions.

'A further back arch giving an impression of Humpback can be seen at 1:42secs just after the second blow.

'Tail shape also seems to give an impression of Humpback and the tail slapping behaviour is quite typical of that species.'

Did you spot the whale off the Norfolk coast? Email

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