Dolphin spotted frolicking by the West Pier

Posted On 10 Mar 2016 at 7:55 pm

This staggeringly beautiful picture of a dolphin spotted swimming by the West Pier was captured by a Brighton photographer today.
Dolphin swimming by the pier by Finn Hopson
Finn Hopson, who runs Brighton Photograph in the West Pier Arches, grabbed his camera and ran out of his studio after a neighbour alerted him to the rare site.

He said “It was out there for an hour or more, following the same path back and forth past the back of the pier.

“Every now and again it would do a few leaps then disappear for a while, just enough to keep a small crowd of people entertained on a grey day.”

  1. Steve Savage Reply

    Great pic. Looks like a bottlenose dolphin (can’t quite see from this image)

    The dolphin was also seen on 6th March, I have been sent pictures of its fin swimming. I have been recording local sea mammals since 1993 as Sussex Regional coordinator for the Sea watch Foundation

    I would be interested to recieve any sightings, you can find out more about local sightings and how to report them at

  2. Reggie Reply

    I think it is wonderful that the photographer has captured this beautiful moment in nature, however the caption is wrong, this is clearly to all eyes not a dolphin but a seal that is jumping out of the water, or alternatively as we have seen so often is being thrown from the water by the attack from an orca. Nature is filled with beauty but is often cruel.

    • Kerry Walker Reply

      An orca?!

    • Kieran Mc Dermott Reply

      Not too many Orcas around West Pier, Brighton to the best of my knowledge 😉

    • Janice Tipping Reply

      Agree. It is a seal. We have seen one near the Marina as we walked along the undercliff walk to Rottingdean. Like this creature, It would pop its head up for a few seconds then disappear and reappear a little further along a minute or two later. Hard to follow. Hard to spot. Even harder to photograph!

  3. Simon Reply

    Oh dear Reggie have you had a few? No Orca’s in Brighton matey! Definitely a dolphin would also question a “Bottle nose” too?
    Kind regards

  4. Kerry Walker Reply

    A seal being thrown by an Orca?…. In Brighton?!!!

    I’m pretty sure it’s a dolphin. Lol.

  5. Btndve Reply

    Total photoshop nonsense. Completely wrong scale and poor quality image. PR stunt for the West Pier Arches photo place.

  6. Leigh Reply

    it’s a Common dolphin. I can see the stripes. As the name suggests, not that unusual in the Channel. Atlantic bottlenose and spotted Dolphins also occur around there.

    • steve savage Reply

      Yes I have now seen a better quality photo. Having said that common dolphins are not so common in the Channel – named as common as they were the species most commonly seen riding the bow wave by early sailors. Common dolphins are more of a deeper water species.

      Bottlenose dolphins are seen quite frequently in the channel (albeit less so in recent years) and being a coastal species they are more frequently spotted from shore

  7. Marange Baldock Reply

    Lol. Should have gone to specsavers Reggie x

  8. Spooky Reply

    I guess that’s the El Nino/La Nina in effect if the water temp of the English channel is warm enough to attract Dolphin’s this early in the year…

  9. Paul Reply

    No dolphins in Brighton I’m afraid.Why even post something like this ??

    • Daz Reply

      I’ve seen a school of Dolphins off of Rottingdean before. Very rare but their out there.

  10. Andy Milford Reply

    Dolphins don’t ‘frolic’ they swim.

    Sorry kids it’s not all Disney you know.

  11. alan Reply

    We have a dolphin that as appeared for the last 4 years it trolls the beaches from the marina to peter pans feeding on the bass and mackerel it normally arrives around the start of august and stays for 3/4 weeks plays havoc with the fishing but so far this year the sea has been a very strange with migrating species staying all winter

  12. Sharlene sha Reply

    It’s a seal! There aren’t dolphins or orcas in Brighton.

  13. Matt Reply

    I have seen Seen 2 dolphins near Brighton Marina today approx 300m off the beach , when I first saw the picture I thought it looked photo shopped but seen them for myself today

  14. Steve Orpin Reply

    Dolphins & porpoises have always been seen down Saltdean & Rottingdean through the years, personally seen by myself many times since the Sixties.

    Beautiful creatures. Have now the regular pleasure of swimming with them down in Australia.

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