Posts Tagged ‘Common Dolphin


For the love of Dolphins

Sailing through the Summer Isles off Ullapool last month we were on a glass mirror sea passing rocky outcrops punctuated with Arctic Terns. Young were pestering parents for their next meal … nothing in nature varies in that respect. As we pulled into a sea cave a Common Sandpiper fell from one of the ledges and proclaimed its objections to us being there with a diagnostic call and fluttering flight.

Moving further out from the coast the skipper sighted dolphins ahead. It wasn’t long before we were surrounded by playful, accommodating and very very beautiful Common Dolphins.

They are not there, then they are, then they are gone again. They bow ride and leap from the water. They watch you from under crystal clear water as they swim alongside. There’s something quite enigmatic and mysterious about Common Dolphins. I just love them.



Coming back from Scillies the Common Dolphins were up to their usual antics. So wonderfully active these cetaceans.


Mammal Tour 2019

The 2019 Mammal Tour is now open for bookings – full details are available to download here

Take a look at just a few of the mammals we encountered this year … and it’s not just about mammals either … some amazing birds to be seen too.

The Scottish Badger is a smaller race than the English version.

We saw two pods of Bottlenose Dolphins on the east coast.

We saw around 150 Common Dolphin – always the most entertaining of mammals and everyone’s favourite – this was taken from the boat before the animal surfaced..

Porpoise were in good numbers around Ardnamurchan. I stopped counting when I got to more than a hundred.

One of seven Minke Whales we came accross

We watched this Osprey displaying with a fish. One of nine birds we saw during the week

The most enigmatic mammal of the Highlands this Pine Marten really entertained us

A surprise interloper at a bait ball we came across was this Pomarine Skua sporting full ‘spoons’ – always good to see.

Prolific in the Highlands we saw some good herds of Red Deer

Never as easy to find during late May as they are earlier in the year we eventually saw a few Red Squirrels

Several Storm Petrels were seen during our boat trip to the Cairnes of Col

One surprise mammal was this male Walrus. Something we REALLY didn’t expect to see.

We saw several White tailed Eagles while searching for the 22 mammals we eventually saw


Did we see any Common Dolphins on the mammal tour?

You bet your life we did!


Love of life

Whenever dolphins appear it shines a light into peoples lives. So it was yesterday.

Travelling out to the Isles of Scilly on the notorious Scillonian III conditions were flat calm. Ideal for seeing cetaceans. Bottlenose Dolphins were the first to appear; slow methodical, bulky dolphins these, we had around four of them. Harbour Porpoise were almost omnipresent and numbered in the 30’s. As we were watching them a large dark animal broke the surface. A Minke Whale gave four or five opportunities for us to get a glimpse…. and then they arrived!

In typical spectacular fashion Common Dolphins gatecrashed the party; leaping and bounding into centre stage. Everyone loves a playful dolphin!



Cetacean city

On the tour to Scillies last week we saw four species of cetacean: Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphins and some playful Common Dolphins. This individual was lit by the setting sun as we sailed back to Penzance on the Scillonian III. Details for next years tour available soon.

2015 10 14 Common Dolphin from Scillonian off Isles of Scilly_Z5A1720



Look mum … I can jump just as high as you!

Among the Common Dolphins in the Bay of Biscay last week was this very young animal with parent. Looking at the photo closely it’s possible to see the vertical creases along the body where it was folded in the womb.

2015 09 17 Common Dolphin Bay of Biscay_Z5A8340





Common Dolphins are incredibly inquisitive creatures.

We were out between Mull and the Cairns of Coll last week on the birding tour of Mull. We had already seen one or two large rafts of Manx Shearwaters and a small northbound party of Pomarine Skuas when the distant splashes of a school of dolphins were seen.

The skipper played it cool and rather than up the revs and encourage the dolphins to join us bow riding he maintained revs and relied upon their natural curiosity to approach us. His judgement was spot on. We ended up amid around 150 Common Dolphins. Fantastic.


Common Dolphins 1


Seawatch Foundation – Local Events

A couple of events in which you may be interested if you live in Norfolk:
Firstly on Sunday 21st July there will be an afternoon of talks and entertainment offered by Seawatch Foundation at Cley Village Hall from 2.30 to around 4.30pm – ever wanted to know more about cetaceans … here’s your chance. An ask the experts panel will answer all your questions … but don’t make them too hard … as I’m one of the members of the panel.
Secondly on Saturday the 27th July Sharon and I will be doing a Seawatch as part of the Sea Watch Foundation National Whale & Dolphin Watch. We will be on the bench on the Promenade below Clifton Way in Overstrand from 9am until 5pm. If you care to join us for a spell you would be made most welcome.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing at least some Harbour Porpoise or maybe … just maybe, if we are very lucky, one or two of these…

Common Dolphin photographed on our trip to Scotland last month.
Common Dolphin


My second love

Although birds are engrained within me; part of my genetic makeup. I have a love of cetaceans. This is a love that has to be fulfilled from time to time; not always easy in Norfolk.
I was pleased therefore to encounter a good sized pod of Common Dolphins last week off the Scottish West Coast around the island of Coll.
Do you remember a programme on Telly years ago where certain garden herbs were given characters? One was a ‘very friendly lion’ called Parsley; an extremely laid back character who took his time and never rushed. Another was ‘Dill the dog’ a chap that shot around like a yappy Yorkshire terrier. Well you can compare Bottlenose Dolphins to Parsley – easy going and thoughtful; the thinking man’s dolphin. The Dill the dog of the sea is without doubt the Common Dolphin.
We had upwards of 25 bow riding the boat and leaping in the air; playful in the extreme and a joy to watch.

Common Dolphin

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Jun 2023


%d bloggers like this: