Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

Nottinghamshire Mammals

The River Trent is tidal until it reaches Cromwell Lock so at times of very high water it's not surprising that the occassional cetacean is recorded. The majority of records come from the section of the Trent near Gainsborough but before the lock at Cromwell was built in 1908 Harbour Porpoise made it as far down as Kelham.

There are confirmed records of Harbour Porpoise and Bottle-nosed Dolphin and at least three records of unidentified whale species

All Nottinghamshire Records

Harbour Porpoise
1880 - Newark, five individuals, at least one was shot
1898 - Collingham, five or six shot
1903 - Kelham, one shot
1959 - Nr. Gainsborough, more than one
1997 - Girton and Littleborough, probably the same animal as only six days apart
2001 - Torksey, one
2005 - Cromwell, one
2012 - Bole, one
2014 - Cromwell,one

Bottle-nosed Dolphin
A well watched animal was seen in the Trent at Gainsborough for over a week in 1999. There were reports of two others two miles downstream.

There are three reports of whale species on the Notts/Lincs border at Gainsborough
1864 - Near Gainsborough, a steam boat collided with a two-ton whale which was most likely a Minke
1932 - Near Gainsborough, no details
1965 - Near Gainsborough (opposite Bole), a large whale was present during a period of flooding. It was 20 feet long and at the time was thought to be either a Long-finned Pilot or Bottle-nosed Whale.

An article written by Phil Palmer and published in the Nottinghamshire Naturalist (Vol 2, Issue 4. 1999) was the source of all pre 2000 records.

Photograph Amy Lewis

Notts Mammal Maps

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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