First there were sharks and now there are dolphins in the River Tyne. Ok, the shark ‘sighting’ may have just been an April Fool’s prank, but the sighting of dolphins in Newcastle’s famous river is 100% genuine.
They were spotted near the mouth of the River Tyne by Stephen Wales, who said this is at least the second time this week that they have made an appearance.
He told the Chronicle,
This is the second time this week they have been there that I know of but are spending a lot of time between Newbiggin and Tynemouth. The largest count was over 100 animals at St Mary’s Lighthouse about a month ago.
During this recent sighting he witnessed around 10 bottle-nosed dolphins and fortunately for the rest of us, he was able to take some great photos of the pod.
Although it is rare to see dolphins so close to shore, there have been numerous sightings off the North-East coast recently – according to ORCA, an organisation which protects whales and dolphins in UK and European waters.
Rachael Forester, who is a Wildlife Office at ORCA, told the Chronicle,
It’s not a regular sight seeing them so close to the shore. They’re obviously following the food – they prey on small fish
We always advise people to keep their distance and just to enjoy the dolphins in their natural habitat. If people just go to the shore line to see them, or high on cliffs or on ferries. It’s not advisable to get too close to them because of the affect of the noise on their stress levels