Local Dolphin spotters along the coast may have had a little more difficulty locating the famous Moray residents of late and wondered why.
Part of the reason has, however, now been revealed – they are currently ‘on tour’ in the Firth of Forth!
A pod of the rare bottlenose dolphins for which the Moray Firth is so famous has turned up off the coast of North Berwick, with experts saying that it is likely they are taking a break from their usual environment because of the recent spell of warm weather.
The pod of six dolphins were seen just off the Bass Rock and were identified as being part of the 130-strong Moray dolphins with Erich Hoyt, from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group, saying that individual dolphins were easily identified. He said: “Over the past decade their appearances in the Firth of Forth have often occurred during a spot of warm weather.
“There were at least six different bottlenose dolphins in this group, consisting mostly of mothers and older calves.”
Mr Hoyt said the group included a dolphin known as ‘Runny Paint’ which is normally resident in the Moray Firth but was spotted near North Berwick in 2008, while another of her travelling companions this week is thought to be here nine-year-old calf ‘Paint Sploch’.
He added: “Others in the group appear to be ‘Chips’, who was last seen with a newborn calf in 2010, ‘Pilot’, who is an older female that was first identified in the Moray Firth in 1990.”
Dolphins have been synonymous with the Moray Firth and are now a major tourist attraction in the region, which was designated as a special area of conservation in 2005 because of the bottlenose dolphin population.