A dead whale has washed up on a beach in the Highlands on Thursday.

Local residents discovered the humpback carcass on a sandbank at Loch Fleet Nature Reserve.

The coastal reserve near Golspie often provides homes for wildlife such as osprey and seals. 

Nature Scot has confirmed that the dead marine animal has been reported to the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme (SMASS).

A spokesperson for NatureScot said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a dead whale has been found on the sandbanks at Loch Fleet."

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The Herald: Local resident Stefanie Roth-Geldard took pictures of the sad find. Local resident Stefanie Roth-Geldard took pictures of the sad find. (Image: Stefanie Roth-Geldard/@highland_croft)

SMASS collates and analyses all reports of stranded cetaceans and will carry out autopsies to understand what led to the death.

A research associate for the organisation told STV that they are hoping to examine the animal today. 

It is understood that the position of the animal on a sandbank could make it difficult for the team to examine it. 

The find comes after a minke whale washed up on an East Lothian beach last month. 

It remained on the North Berwick beach overnight after an initial attempt to remove the mammal was stunted by the tides.

South of the border, contractors are attempting to remove the carcass of a 55ft (17m) fin whale which washed up at Bridlington, East Yorkshire, earlier this week.