Spectacular summer so far for whale and dolphin sightings

Bumper summer for whale and dolphin sightings (pic: North58 Sea Adventures)
Bumper summer for whale and dolphin sightings (pic: North58 Sea Adventures)

IT MAY NOT have been a very spectacular summer so far on the weather front – but visitors and locals alike have been thrilled by whale visits to the Moray coastline.

Hot on the heels of the spectacular sightings of Killer Whales in recent weeks those taking part in the Seawatch programme were thrilled at the weekend to spot Humpback and Minke Whales off Burghead.

Alan Airey, the Seawatch Foundation regional coordinator, said that they have been recording whale and dolphin sightings in the Moray Forth for many years – with waters off Moray well known feeding grounds for minke whales as well as the resident bottlenose dolphins.

However, Alan reports that 2015 has seen the humpback’s here as well – the first having been reported from late May in the Pentland Firth but since seen regularly off Moray.

“On June 10 I watched one lunge feeding with three minke off Burghead,” Alan told insideMoray, adding: “It was showing its huge gaping mouth – myself and others have observed them feeding, fluking, breaching, lob-tailing as well as waving their pectoral fins about from Nairn to Portknockie.

“How cool is it to see a humpback off Lossiemouth before your work, at lunchtime and then after work as I did on Friday.”

Alan added that on Saturday he was watching three humpback’s feeding with four minke off the coast at Portknockie, he said: “And that was after already getting bored with watching around 10 minke whales and several bottlenose dolphins along the Burghead and Lossiemouth coast earlier in the day.

“I have been all over the world studying and photographing whales and dolphins from Antarctica and the Arctic to the Tropics, and believe me the Moray Firth is up there with the best places in the world.

“Sadly, however, what is on most people’s own doorstep is often not fully appreciated.”

People are urged to help build a fuller picture that would help protect whales and dolphins by reporting sightings to the Seawatch Foundation through their website.

Alan was out again on Sunday watching out for whale and dolphin movements along the Moray coastline. He said: “I will be trying to spread the word of how really special the Moray Firth is, what a privilege it is to live and work here – and how wonderful it is to see this fabulous marine life virtually every day.”