BEACHCOMBERS are being asked to keep their eyes open along the Ayrshire Coast after several whale strandings.

David Nairn, who runs the Clyde Porpoise Marine Mammal Project, posted an alert on social media. 

This asked members of the public visiting the beach to be vigilant for any stranded Cuvier’s beaked whale, also known as Goosebeaked Whale, being washed up.

This follows a number of the species being found along the Irish coast, with fears that the problem could hit our shores, brought by the tidal current through North Channel and into the Clyde.

David said: “It would be great if [people] could check out quieter stretches of coast.

“These [mammals] are extremely susceptible to military sonar which may be involved with six recent strandings on the Irish coast.

“Beach litter pickers will be aware that a lot of debris from Ireland can end up on the west coast - have a good scan about your bit of coast.”

Cuvier’s beaked whales can be identified by their shape, short beak and unique colouration. – their body colour can be dark grey to a rusty brown whilst their head appears paler and almost white in colour.

Their flippers are small and rounded and tucked into the ‘flipper pockets’ when the animal is diving. 

“The small dorsal fin is set two-thirds of the way back along its body - as with other beaked whales, there is no notch on the fluke.

Scottish SPCA Superintendent, Mike Flynn, added: “Anyone who comes across a stranded marine animal should not attempt to rescue the animal themselves.

“Any member of the public concerned about the welfare of an animal should call our helpline on 03000 999 999.”