Breathtaking drone footage shows a humpback whale coming for air in Scotland


This incredible drone footage shows a humpback whale taking flight in the Firth of Forth.

The whale was filmed from a boat which left Granton Harbour, Edinburgh on Sunday December 12.

He went up in the air several times and startled the crew members when he suddenly appeared just 30 feet from the boat.

Dan Casey, 30, from Lundin Links, Fife, has been trying to film the whale for three years.

He said he hoped his quest to find the whale would have a “happier ending” than Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby Dick, which ends with the obsessive Captain Ahab being dragged into the ocean.

Dan, an assistant freelance television producer, had previously attempted to film the whale by flying his drone above the river as it stood on the banks, but was unsuccessful.

He tracked it with the help of enthusiasts online, and the excursion lasted about four hours with the whale visible for most of that time due to “perfect” conditions.

Whale watchers are trying to determine if it is the same one that has been spotted in the Forth in previous years.

Dan said: “I’ve been cruising the coast for the past three years trying to catch this whale, following all the sightings posted online.

“I could never have it.

“Luckily I messaged one of the groups on Facebook because I saw they were already out on a boat and got some good pics – so I asked if I could come with the drone.

“We had the perfect weather for it.

“It was the quietest I have ever seen in Forth.

“Everything fell into place with the weather, I was very happy, especially after trying for so long.

“It’s like my personal Moby Dick – in the Forth.

“I hope he has a happier ending.

“As soon as we set off from Granton Harbour, heading towards Kinghorn, we could see it.

“He would get up two or three times and then do a big dive – you know he’s dipping because the tail is going up.

“So he can reappear anywhere.

“There was a moment when he came 30 feet from the boat and we had no idea he was that close.

“We knew first it was the sound of the vent and we all jumped about a foot in the air.

“It was a really loud, low-pitched noise.

“He was there the whole time we were there – three or four hours.

“You can walk out for hours and see nothing – that was four hours of pure whale watching.

“You can see the full length of his body and how he dives underwater with the drone.

“It gives you an impression of his size.

“Someone suggested online it was up to 40ft long.

“Every time he came to take the air, it’s a big noise.

“It’s the sound of his blowhole when he goes up and that’s often what betrays his position.

“It seems that for three years he has been coming every winter.

“Last year they identified a whale that was the same one spotted on the west coast six months earlier.

“This one hasn’t been fully identified this year – I think it’s the same but I don’t think it’s been fully confirmed.


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