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Skye and the Moray Firth


JohnR
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In July we went to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and extended our trip by staying an extra week in Inverness which has easy access to the East Coast, Speyside and the Cairngorms.

 

In addition to trips to Balmoral and the The Glen Livet distillery (where I got to taste 9 whiskies from 12 to 37 years old as well as the raw spirit) we concentrated on wildlife. In my usual last minute style I had made no bookings for access to boats for whale-watching (essential to book at this time of year) we were nevertheless able to see bottlenose dolphins. It is the time of year the salmon return to the rivers so they were streaming up the Moray Firth in large numbers, often very close to the coast and the dolphins were there feeding on them. Chanonry Point opposite Fort George

 

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Is a popular viewing point with lots of people blocking the view unless you arrive early

 

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Our landlady at the Iona Guest House who runs a highland tour company suggested going to the Isle of Skye if we wanted a boat trip and she contacted the Stardust company in Portree which did indeed have spaces the following day. It was about as long a drive as Inverness to Aberdeen so much less than our hazy knowledge of Scottish geography had suggested. Moreover the cost of a Stardust trip was less than the prices we saw for the East Coast. We paid £18 per person for a 2.5 hour trip.

 

The owner of the Stardust company has two boats, a traditional speed boat, and a catamaran. He had heard that there was a pod of about 60 common dolphins further out in Loch Portree so he sent us out in the catamaran to get tthere as quickly as possible, just stopping to locate the whereabouts of some White Tailed Sea Eagles en route. When we found the dolphins I had difficulty photographing them at speed, mostly catching pictures of tails

 

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until we stopped

 

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After we had our fill of dolphins we returned to where we had seen the sea eagles. There was an adult female as well as a male and juveniles. They were showing no interest in the bait being tossed overboard by a small boat. However our captain had built up a relationship with the female which recognised his call and he tossed a whole fish in the sea. She immediately went after the fish and I managed to get acceptable images of the stoop though this was the first time I ever tried.

 

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The males continued to show no interest so must have already fed.

Edited by JohnR
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  • 1 month later...

Great shots John, love the Dolphins from the beach... wow!

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Love the WTE shot! I will have to get Ian out there sometime!

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Thanks for sharing John, I too love the dolphins.

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Thanks @@Safari Cal @Atravelynn @kittykat23uk @@PCNW. I was surprised how close the dolphins came at Chanonry point, much closer than the shot above as some dolphins were completely hidden by the spectators.

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