Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
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...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Twilight Walk at Scottish Dolphin Centre

As the sun began to set over the Scottish Dolphin Centre, an intrepid group of visitors joined us for our Twilight Walk at Spey Bay. The aim: to find and learn about some of the more mysterious creatures of the night! So I should probably start with a quick introduction as despite being here 3 months, this is my first blog! My name is Charlotte and I am the summer Events and Guide Volunteer at SDC. While I love regularly being treated to dolphins, ospreys and seals, ask any of the other volunteers and they’ll tell you how much I love moths. Therefore it was only natural I was eagerly anticipating our annual Twilight Walk.

Having given a quick lesson in how to trap moths, and the different species of bat found in the Moray area we ploughed our way through a thick cloud of midges to begin our walk. As we headed along the banks of the river we saw goosander, gulls and heard the unmistakable calls of curlews overhead, all lit by a rather big and beautiful moon. The real excitement came as we were walking along the edge of the woods. We tried playback of a tawny owl recording to see if any would respond but sadly had no reply. Having read that 90% of male tawny owls are fooled by a good impression I decided to have a go myself, so the call would be louder (with a bit of arm twisting from Caro); And it worked! At first an owl answered us from a long way away so we tried again when we were a bit closer to the centre. Not only did the first owl respond, but a second joined in from right behind us.

Twilight walk montage

We then headed back in search of bats. After a brief stop to admire some rabbits we found what we were seeking. Using a bat detector we were able to hear the bats echolocating as they flew around our heads catching all the insects. After listening to some bat sounds earlier, we were able to deduce that the ‘wet slappy’ noise at 55Hz belonged to a pair of soprano pipistrelles. Then it was time for my favourite part of the evening, moths!

The sheet we set up with a light on it sadly failed to attract any moths (most likely due to the big, bright moon – not the best night for moth trapping). But in true Blue Peter style I produced a selection of moths I’d caught earlier. Under torch light our guests then set about identifying what moths I had provided using their ID guides. We all had a good laugh as well when one flew straight off his eggbox and landed on my face. Then all that was left was to release our mothy friends and return home. I think it was very successful night indeed, and would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came.

Moth Montage

Thanks for reading, Charlotte Wells (Event and guide volunteer)