A humpback whale has provided Scilly islanders with a Christmas treat.
The giant mammal appeared off St Mary’s on Christmas Eve and has been spotted every day cruising just a few hundred metres from the shore.
The whale has drawn many islanders to the coastline, including photographer Martin Goodey who nicknamed it Pi after the film Life of Pi.
Pi is also thought to have been spotted off the Cornwall coast over the summer because markings on its tail match.
Mr Goodey said: “It has been close to the shore so people walking along the coast can see it.
“We have plenty of dolphins, but we don’t often get the opportunity to see humpback whales.
“They are rare visitors to the islands, so it’s quite special.”
Wildlife expert Lucy McRobert, who lives on the islands, said there could be two whales, perhaps a mother and a calf, although there are no pictures of the two together.
Both appeared to be healthy, moving in and out with the tides and feeding in the shallow waters, she said.
“There are people who have lived their whole lives in the islands and have only seen humpback whales once or twice,” she said.
“It appears they are recovering after being hunted excessively and we will continue to see more of them around Devon and Cornwall.”
Ms McRobert, who captured a whale on film, added: “It’s been a real delight to see how the whales have entered people’s lives here. Half the island has been out to see them.
“And it’s lovely to see how they have brought people together after this year of the pandemic.”