Whale, Dolphin and Porpoise watching in the Moray Firth
The WDCS Moray Firth Wildlife Centre is based in Spey Bay, and there is a second WDSC centre at North Kessock near Inverness.
Seeing the Dolphins on Foot:
The Sea Watch Foundation in conjunction with the East Grampian Coastal Partnership have produced an excellent leaflet, that shows the places around the Moray coast to spot the dolphins and other wildlife.
The dolphins come close to shore. The dolphins are there year-round but particularly from late May to September.
At Burghead, accessible by road, the point sticks out into the Moray Firth, and is close to deep water, making it a good year-round viewpoint for the bottlenose dolphins as well as minke whales in late summer and autumn.
From Lossiemouth, on the coast north of Elgin, the dolphins can also be seen.
At the town of Spey Bay, at the mouth of the River Spey, the dolphins sometimes come in close to feed.
From the shore at Buckie, dolphins can be seen swimming close.
At Portknockie, a town a few miles east of Buckie, is a good year-round lockout point for bottlenose dolphins as well as minke whales in late summer and autumn.
From Cullen, walks along the coast can sometimes result in dolphin sightings.
On the headlands north of Banff, bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises and sometimes orcas have been seen.
The beaches of Nairn, Findhorn, Findochty, and Troup Head near Pennan are all good locations to spot different types of wildlife too. Also Fort George, and Chanonry point on the other side, near the mouth of the Firth of Inverness are very good points to see the dolphins from the shore.
Watching by Boat
One of the best ways to see the dolphins is by taking a boat trip with on of the accredited operators below. These operators are all accredited by the Dolphin Space program and follow strict guide lines to ensure the well being of the dolphins and other wild life.
Dolphin Space Programme Accredited Operators 2010
1. Puffin Cruises
Tel: 01542 832560 or 07900 920445
2. North 58 Sea Adventures
Tel: 01261 819900 or 07854 447720.
3. Gemini Explorer
Tel: 07747 626280
4. White Horse Diving Charters
Tel: 01542833434 or 07772431557/07919114991
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
5. Moray Diving
Tel: 01309 690421 or 07775 802963
6. Phoenix Cruises
Tel: 01667 456078 or 07050 214127.
7. Moray Firth Wildlife Cruises (trips start in June)
Tel: 01463 717900
8. Dolphin Trips Avoch
Tel: 01381 622383 (bookings) or boat 07779 833951
Tel: 01381 600323
10. Cromarty Rose/Cromarty Ferry
Tel: 01381 610269 or 07768 653674
11. Mackenzie Charter and Marine
Tel: 01862 871257 or 07970 220723/skipper 07752 476936
Our thanks to the Dolphin Space Programme who kindly supplied the info above