'Extremely rare' large minke whale pod spotted off Isle of Man

Image source, Frank Wildman
Image caption,
It is likely good feeding conditions drew the pod to the area

An "extremely rare" pod of about 20 minke whales has been spotted off the east coast of the Isle of Man, a conservation group has said.

Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch (MWDW) said whales kept "popping up" during a "feeding frenzy" between Douglas Head and Port Soderick Bay on Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Jen Adams said it was "very unusual to see them foraging en masse" as they were "solitary creatures".

She added that to "see so many at once is really incredible".

Minke whales feed on fish and krill and adults can measure up to 30ft (9m) long and weigh up to 10 tonnes.

Image source, Mike Kelly
Image caption,
A Minke whale with her young calf was among those spotted

Ms Adams said it was likely that good feeding conditions had drawn the pod to the area.

"The herring are spawning and this is what has attracted so many whales, so close in to the coast," she said.

"We have hardly seen any whales this year, so to see so many at once is really incredible."

The whales are regular visitors to Manx waters, with lone adults and small pods often being seen off the island's coast between June and November.

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