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What’s Around Spey Bay

This weeks blog has been written by Scottish Dolphin Centre summer guide Heather. Read on to find out what she has been spotting around Spey Bay these past few weeks…

As the weather warms up at Spey Bay we have been seeing bottlenose dolphins almost every day and it has been very exciting for all of the visitor’s fortunate enough to get a glimpse of these amazing animals. During those times that the dolphins aren’t around there is still plenty to see and do at the Scottish Dolphin Centre. 

Over the past couple of weeks there have also been two very special visitors at the centre Mike the minke and Ralph the Risso’s dolphin. Both of these are life size inflatable replicas that the other guides and myself at the Scottish Dolphin Centre use to educate our visitors about the incredible marine mammals that are found around the Scottish coastline. For the visitors who stop by and chat when we have the replicas out we have a plenitude of facts to wow them with. Such as, the minke whale is the smallest of the baleen whales and the species of minke whale seen along the Moray Firth is the common minke whale. The risso’s dolphin does not usually have teeth in their upper jaw and only 4-14 teeth in their lower jaw and they are typically found in deep water where they are able to feed on squid.

 

Mike the Minke

As well as our life size replicas we have had the usual sightings around the centre and the dolphins have been seen almost every day making for very exciting summer holidays for our visitors. There has also been plenty to see on our wildlife wanders as there has been a change along our ‘triangle walk’ in the last couple of weeks as we are seeing different species of plants come into flower. We are now seeing black knapweeds, creeping thistle and rosebay willowherb flower. The rosebay willowherb is a rather incredible plant because it displays the different stages of its reproductive cycle on a single stem!

It has been perfect moth collecting weather in the last week and the residential volunteers and I were treated to a variety of moth species as Kristina and Martin sorted through the moths that were collected: Lesser swallow prominent, garden tiger moth, yellow underwing and gold spot.

 

Yellow Underwing

As the summer continues there will be plenty more to see and do for everyone who visits the Scottish Dolphin Centre.