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From Blustery Bust to Whale of a Time: A Thrilling Afternoon at Burghead and Spey Bay

Hi, there, wildlife lovers! Our Sunday escapade took an unexpected twist as Mother Nature decided to stir up some winds, forcing our eagerly anticipated wildlife boat trip to be cancelled. But, every cloud has a silver lining, right? So, my fellow explorer Paul Hackett and I decided to turn our sails towards Burghead, keeping our fingers crossed for some Minke Whale and Dolphin sightings from the pretty little harbour.

Our adventure at Burghead started on a quieter note, with the only performers being a Grey Seal elegantly lounging in the harbour and a bunch of Kittiwake's on the harbour wall. We were especially charmed by the sight of several juveniles frolicking about – a heart-warming sight that never fails to put a smile on your face.

After basking in the sun on the cliffside, listening to the rhythmic lullaby of the waves, we decided to up the ante.

Destination? Spey Bay! Our spirits soared as we pondered the chances of spotting an Osprey on a fishing spree, a daily spectacle at the bay. And, if we were on a lucky streak, we might even catch sight of Dolphins, though the low tide wasn't in our favour for that.

Arriving at the Dolphin Centre, we armed ourselves with hot cups of coffee, indulgent slices of cake, and our trusty scopes before heading down the pebbly beach.

A fellow wildlife enthusiast stopped us, his words sparking a ripple of excitement. It was prime time for the Osprey to be out and about, fishing!

The sun was shining, casting a shimmering heat haze, but that didn’t dampen our spirits.

Just as our anticipation was reaching its peak, the Gulls scattered, unveiling the Osprey in all its majestic glory, a silhouette against the bright sun.

Paul, quickly set up his scope to digi-scope our feathered friend. No sooner had he done so than the Osprey swooped down, emerging triumphantly with a prize catch – a whopper of a fish! Talk about a Kodak moment!

Photo courtesy of Paul Hackett)

Unable to contain our excitement, Paul pulled up the Caithness & Moray Firth Cetacean sightings on Facebook.

We found Dolphins had been spotted at Hopeman heading east, and later at Lossiemouth. They were on a journey, and it seemed to be leading them right to us!

So, with bated breath and fingers tightly crossed, we waited.

Our patience paid off around 6.20 pm we spotted the playful pod in the distance. Their graceful antics, coupled with the presence of Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Red Throated diver, Gannets, and a plethora of other seabirds, turned the scene into a riot of life.

We watched in awe as the Gannets went diving, their swift, precise movements frozen in time in our slow-motion videos. The cherry on top? The Dolphins added their playful vibe to the scene, creating an unforgettable spectacle.

My next outing? A wildlife walk at Spey Bay on Friday, 23rd June. Watch out for my next blog.

With anticipation brewing, we're itching to head back out to sea with Burghead Wildlife Trips for up-close encounters with Dolphins and Minke Whales, not to mention a myriad of other wildlife.

From a wind-cancelled trip to an action-packed day, this was an afternoon that reaffirmed the simple truth: When one door closes, adventure often opens another!

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