Miracle dolphin Spirtle has returned to her home waters in the north-east of Scotland after her summer spent off Ireland’s south-west coast, as BBC News reports.
The bottlenose dolphin with a distinctive sunburn scar was spotted with her family group in the Moray Firth this past Tuesday (17 December) — four months and hundreds of miles away from their last sightings in the waters off Co Kerry.
Spirtle initially surprised marine wildlife experts when she survived a live stranding ordeal in 2016 in which she suffered severe sunburn — and again this past summer when she and a number of her group were tracked heading south from Scotland through the Irish Sea.
A spokesperson for Whale and Dolphin Conservation said 2019 “has been a very unusual year for this dolphin population’s movements around the UK and overseas to the Dutch coast — it might not be quite finished yet”.
In other news, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says competition for food “seems to be growing more intense” for fin whales in the waters off Co Waterford, who made a more fleeting visit than usual for this time of year.