Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Minke whale off Northern Ireland coast

Rare behaviour, expert says

By Sue Doherty

While enjoying a boat trip on a sunny day, Christopher McFerran was joined by an unexpected visitor.

A minke whale surfaced and followed Christopher's boat for a time, repeatedly breaching along the way.

Luckily for us, he recorded the magical encounter.

Christopher told the Belfast Telegraph that he saw the whale about seven miles south of Portavogie last Wednesday.

Padraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dophin Group said that more whales are being seen around the coast of Down and Antrim these days.

"For many years, all people seemed to see was harbour porpoises.

"Then, about five or six years ago, bottlenose dolphins started making an appearance.

"And, about two or three years ago, a trickle of minke whales began to make their way here.

"We even have some compelling accounts, there's a real possibility that there was a humpback whale in the waters off Portstewart at the weekend.

Still, whale sightings are far from commonplace, he added, especially once ones where a whale behaves as it did in this video.

"It's very rare to see a whale swim parallel to a boat like that and to breach continually. Christopher is a lucky man to have experienced something like that."

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