Spectacular footage has emerged of a humpback whale spotted in the Firth of Forth – on the other side of Scotland.
The magnificent creature was filmed near the Inner Hebridean island of Coll by Basking Shark Scotland, a tour company run by marine biologists, last summer.
Enthusiasts who have been following the whale’s movements were able to identify the humpback spotted in the Forth in recent days as the same animal seen off Coll in August last year because of its distinctive fin.
Lyndsay McNeill, a citizen scientist who runs the Scottish Humpback ID group, noticed some familiar features when looking at images captured by photographers.
She got in touch with Shane Wasik from Basking Shark Scotland, who sent her images from the team’s sighting of humpbacks on the west coast last summer.
“The barnacle on the tip on the dorsal fin was very distinctive and I knew I had seen it recently,” she said.
A rare sighting on Scottish coast
Shane said: “We were all super excited, furiously messaging each other on Sunday evening, comparing all the images to be 100% sure it was a match.
“It was an incredible day we spent with them last summer and to have them relighted where I grew up is even more special.
“We believe this is first re-sighting of humpback whale between east and west Scotland.
“They are a rare sighting around the Scottish coast. This was one of only three sightings we’ve ever had personally on the west coast.”
Fifer Shane grew up in Kinghorn and is a family friend of Ronnie Mackie, who runs the Forth Marine Mammals Facebook group.
Since the appearance of the humpback in the Forth, whale watchers have been scanning the coast with binoculars and cameras hoping to catch a glimpse of the visitor.
Humpbacks make long migrations between high latitude summer feeding grounds and low latitude wintering grounds. They breed in warm sub-tropical waters and each year return to colder waters to feed, and are spotted around Scottish coasts on migration.