Thursday 4 August 2011

Seals, Sharks and Cetaceans (3): Bottlenose Dolphins in the Moray Firth

A satisfied dolphin-watcher (me!)
We recently returned from a glorious holiday in Scotland, visiting lochs, lochans and a few islands. I shall begin at the end, for one of our final stops was on the Moray Firth to watch the dolphins. We were not disappointed!

The photo above has been included to show how narrow the strait is at this point - and to show just how close to the shore the dolphins were happy to come.

One minute there was a tail flip ...

... and then a back flip.

Sometimes it was hard to tell whether we were watching one dolphin or two.

There is something very serene and submarine-like about these creatures!

It was difficult to predict where the dolphins would surface, in terms of having the camera poised, so this is a rare facial picture.

... and so is this. Could it be a mother and calf? 

There certainly seem to be two dolphins here.

I am fascinated by the four tiny peaks of water on the left hand side.

Mother and calf swimming off in tandem ...

The Moray Firth is a great place to watch dolphins because they come so close to the shore. There are boat trips for those who prefer to watch from the water. Dolphins, of course, are wild creatures and come and go as they please. They are not always around, but we have watched from this spot (with binoculars, camera and monopod to hand) on several occasions now, and have been very lucky. These are apparently the most northerly Bottlenose Dolphins in the world, and we feel very privileged to have shared in these moments of their lives.


J said...

Great shots, Caroline. Is that Chanonry Point, which is a place I've been thinking of visiting myself?

Caroline Gill said...

Spot on, Jeremy ... though we have also watched from across the water at the sombre but imposing Fort George. There are often seals about, too.

Adam Tilt said...

Excellent photos Caroline. Looks like another place to add to my list of "must visits".

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm most envious, I've never seen dolphins in the Moray Forth!

Mary said...

Wonderful! How exciting to see these. I love the one "standing" up in the water.