Minke whales spotted off the Yorkshire coast as wildlife spotting trips set to start next month

Minke whales have been spotted enjoying themselves in the sea off the Yorkshire coast much earlier than usual.

The whales are normally spotted in the North Sea in July, but have already been seen off the Yorkshire coast on numerous occasions in the past two weeks.

Yorkshire Coast Nature is set to start running its wildlife spotting trips again in July to coincide with the season when the whales are usually seen - but they have arrived earlier than usual.

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Bottle-nosed dolphins have also been seen regularly off the Yorkshire coast, while seabird sightings over the past few weeks also include large numbers of puffins which were spotted by the Yorkshire Coast Nature skipper Sean Baxter.

Minke Whales swimming near Whitby Abbey in 2017 (Credit: Jeremy Parkin/SWNS)

The company said: "Great news. Several sightings of Minke Whales in the past two weeks from the Staithes area have filled us with joy!

"Our Minke Whales usually return in July but this year sightings have started to be reported earlier. Bottle-nosed Dolphins have also been seen regularly on the Yorkshire coast in the past few weeks."

The seabird and whale trips are set to return on July 2, in line with Government guidance. The company has previously offered transfer vouchers for any trips that were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.