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Moray Firth Wildlife

Watching Marine Wildlife in the Moray Firth

Not only does the Moray Firth offer beautiful and varied scenery, there are also several species of dolphins, whales and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) found here, including bottlenose, common, white-beaked and Risso's dolphins, harbour porpoise, minke, pilot and killer whales.

Photo by Charlie Phillips http://www.charliephillipsimages.co.uk

As well as these cetacean species you also have the chance of seeing grey and common seals, basking sharks and internationally important numbers of seabirds such as northern gannets, seaduck, puffins, guillemots and many other species. If you're lucky, and patient, you may also spot osprey and shy otters fishing along the coasts and in river estuaries.

Photo by Charlie Phillips http://www.charliephillipsimages.co.uk

The Moray Firth is particularly special because it supports the only known resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the North Sea. This is a small population of animals that ranges throughout the Moray Firth and all the way down to Aberdeen and St Andrews. These bottlenose dolphins can often be observed quite close to the coast, whereas many other species prefer to spend most of their time further out to sea. This makes them much easier to watch than other cetacean species and there are various locations where they can be spotted from shore.

Photo by Charlie Phillips http://www.charliephillipsimages.co.uk

Many of these wildlife species can be watched from shore. The WDCS Wildlife Centre at Spey Bay can help you get the most out of your shore watching experience and their staff can tell you about more great places to visit. Have a look at our 'Watching from Shore' page for more information.

If you fancy taking a boat trip to see marine wildlife have a look at our list of DSP accredited operators on the 'Boat Trips' page. There's a wide range of different types of boat and trip available.


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