Belugas are “typically associated with pack ice,” said Dr Peter Evans, director of the Sea Watch Foundation. “It is very rare for them to travel as far south as NE England.” See video.
Their ghostly white forms normally blend with the ice floes of their native haunts off Greenland and the Barents Sea.
Filmed by Deb Powis. One of two beluga whales spotted off Warkworth Beach, Northumberland on 31 Aug 2015. A single beluga was first sighted in the area on the day before.
After one was filmed off the coast of County Antrim in July, two other belugas have now turned up in the North Sea.
Experts are highlighting the unusually low water temperatures this summer as a possible cause for their visits.
Deb Powis managed to capture some footage of the belugas on her mobile phone (see above video).
“There were locals who were walking their dogs who have been walking the beach all their life and have never seen a whale in all that time”, she said.
Highly distinctive whales, the pure white adult belugas can measure up to six meters (almost 20 ft) long, with small, bulbous heads and smooth backs with no dorsal fins.
The arrival of the beluga follows the sighting of another High Arctic cetacean, a bowhead whale, in the Isles of Scilly in February
Thanks to P Petsku and John at Bayshore for these links