A rare fin whale which became stranded on the island of Noss has died.
Scottish Natural Heritage were alerted to the situation on Wednesday afternoon when what appeared to be a minke whale became stranded on the rocks.
Attempts were made to refloat the creature but these efforts were unsuccessful. The creature died overnight.
When examining photographs the next day Karen Hall, of the local Scottish Natural Heritage branch, realised that the animal was in fact a fin whale.
Currently the whale’s carcass is drifting on and off the shore and volunteers will have to wait for it to run aground before samples can be taken and a cause of death determined.
Fin whales are the second largest animal after the blue whale. The largest recorded fin whale measured almost 26 metres long
They can be found in all of the world’s major oceans, though they are considered to be an endangered species.