Northern Ireland news

Video: Porpoises seen off the coast at Ballycastle


A PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiast was trying to capture the perfect sunset from his boat on the North Channel when he realised he was no longer alone.

Frank Wright was two or three miles from Ballycastle shore on the way to Rathlin Island when he was surrounded by leaping porpoises.

The large pod of up to 40 of the aquatic mammals were in the narrow area connecting the North and Irish seas on Tuesday evening.

"I was trying to video the lovely sunset that was going down when I caught sight of them," he said.

"The younger ones - which seemed smaller - were frolicking around, leaping out of the water and the adults ones were more swimming around."

Despite returning the following evenings, there was no sign of the pod which appears to have moved to fresh hunting ground.

Related to oceanic dolphins, porpoises have shorter beaks.

They are usually found near the polar regions, close to the coast and feed on fish and squid.

Calves are born at this time of year in the spring and summer months and although harbour porpoise are "highly sociable" pods generally "do not exceed ten individuals".

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