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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
A dolphin called Arnie with a shell

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

A story about whales and humans

As well as working for WDC, I write books for young people. Stories; about the...
Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...

Recent Sightings at Spey Bay

Three months in and still seeing something new every week! Most evidence of winter has now disappeared and has been replaced with lush green trees and plants. Quite a different scene to when we first arrived back in February.

We have been enjoying the warmer and lighter evenings, going for walks and having fires on the beach, watching dolphins and osprey most of the time! Although the last couple of days have been rather grey and blustery! Hopefully the sun will have has his hat on again soon.

We’ve had dolphins here at Spey Bay for 16 days straight – not bad going! On one of these days they were out there for eight hours, setting the record so far for this year!

I have been a little more into insects this week, managed to get a few snapshots of different butterflies and identifying weevils! Of the butterflies, I have seen the orange tip, the green veined white, the peacock, small copper and small tortoiseshell. The nettle weevil tagged a lift home with me on one of my walks and the pine weevil found its way into my bedroom!

We have had the arrival of the house martins and the swifts down by the river. On the reserve, the sedge warbler and reed bunting have been spotted. I was lucky the other day, on one of my walks, to spot the first ducklings for the year! Seem to be a lot later than usual this far up north! But they’ve arrived, so on the lookout for some more now. The spotted flycatcher has also been seen which is rather exciting as they are quite scarce in the North. The American widgeon, spotted by Keith, a keen birder and friend of SDC, also ruffled a few feathers! 

Expanding a little further into the Moray Firth, we’ve had some rather exciting ceteceans spotted! Starting with two different sightings of minke whales off of Burghead and also a pod of orcas off of Hopeman! Sadly I haven’t witnessed these for myself, yet!

At the moment, I am getting ready for Big Watch Weekend, where our shorewatchers get together and do as many watches as they can! I will be getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday 7th June, aiming to get my first watch done at 4am! We will also be having an evening watch with a beach fire (open to all) on one of the evenings. Fingers crossed for some good weather!