The moment a humpback whale breached from the water in front of Edinburgh Castle has been captured by a photographer.

A number of the huge mammals were pictured in the Firth of Forth over the weekend, with some sightings also reported on Monday.

Birdwatcher Adrian Plumb took the picture of the mammal surfacing against the striking backdrop.

It is thought there may be have been three or four whales in the pod, including two younger humpbacks.

Ron Macdonald, a former head of policy at Scottish Natural Heritage, was also able to take pictures of the whales from Pettycur Harbour in Fife.

He said: "Young humpbacks tend to be like teenagers, they're more adventurous.

"The tend to come further inland. If the food is around they could stay for a number of weeks."

However, he warned there could be a risk to the animals, which can grow to 60ft long if sightseers approached them in boats.

He said: "There is a whale watching code, you have to keep a certain distance and you have to approach them in a certain way."

In March last year, a humpback whale was photographed performing a "backflip" in the Firth of Forth off Kinghorn.

Mr Macdonald said the rise in recent sightings may be down to an increase in herring populations, which are a food source for humpbacks.

He said: "There were sightings of two whales in the Forth last year.

"It's not unheard of to see them here but it's uncommon, it's a welcome return for sure."