Fin whales spotted in Kessock Channel at Inverness
Two fin whales, an adult and a juvenile, have been spotted at Inverness.
The rare sighting was made in the Kessock Channel, an area of water forming part of the inner Beauly Firth, on Tuesday afternoon.
Fin whales are the world's second-largest animal after the blue whale and can dive to depths of 230m (755ft).
The last recorded sighting of a fin whale in the area was in 2006 near Rosemarkie Bay in the Moray Firth.
The adult in the latest sighting was estimated to be 18m (60ft) long.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme were alerted to the whales' visit.
Charlie Phillips, a field officer with WDC, was able to monitor the animals from a locally-based boat, Dolphin Spirit.
He said they may have arrived in the area to feed on mackerel.
A sighting was made of the adult on Wednesday near Ardersier on the Moray Firth, suggesting the animals were moving out into more open water.