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Dolphins

A still, clear summer day with a flat calm sea, everything looks peaceful….. and then they arrive.

First to be seen is a massive male, 4 meters in length . He is just about the perfect hunter, speed and power combine with senses that can only be imagined

Soon the rest of the pod come charging into view, females, youngsters and even the near white new-born babies race towards the hunt. The surface of the water is alive with 20 Dolphins. A large male leaps three meters into the air as a second slaps the surface of the water then everything goes quiet. The stillness is back, but not for long as a mighty tail sweeps through the water in a stunning display of power, followed a by second eruption as a large salmon is thrown far into the air.

The rest of the pod is also on the hunt with other victims being caught unseen. At last the frenzy is over, fun time! In a display of grace, dolphin after dolphin leaps high into the air or simply raises its heads above the surface to have a look around at the land.  The new-borns seem to be having most fun leaping repeatedly whilst being constantly shadowed by a watchful mum

This display is not a one off when a group of nomadic creatures appears and disappears, This drama is possibly happening as you read this article and in a place you may not expect, less than 10 miles from Aberdeen Airport, only 2 miles from the city centre at the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour.

Among its many energy related accolades Aberdeen can claim to be the best city in Europe for watching whales and dolphins. As well as the near daily sightings of Bottlenose Dolphins at the harbour, with a bit of luck, time and a calm sea, Risso’s Dolphin, White Beaked Dolphin, Minke Whale and Harbour Porpoise can be seen. During 2011 we also hosted a couple of giants with Humpbacked Whales being present between Aberdeen and the picture perfect village of Collieston for at least 7 months.

Bottlenose Dolphin are by far the easiest to see by simply driving to the Torry Battery. It is possible also to walk or cycle from the city centre or take a taxi. Once at the battery, a defensive fort that was placed to protect the city during the time of Napoleon, look between the North and South breakwaters, the dolphins may also be as far up river at the Harbour’s gleaming new control tower.

This is also the best view of the city with the magnificent bay sweeping north and the colour and industry of the harbour giving way to the city and the distant mountains.

This is wildlife watching for all. No equipment is needed. ,  Even if you have little time, many locals sneak to the Torry Battery to have a quick sandwich lunch whilst watching this true wildlife drama. Dolphins may even be seen from the train on the way south from the city as it passes along the coast towards stonehaven.

For the more dedicated Aberdeen Harbour Cruises are running boat trips to see dolphins and the other wonderful wildlife that is at home in Aberdeen Bay. 

 

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