We had a nice little wildlife trip on Wednesday just down the coast from the big city of Aberdeen. We parked up at Nigg Bay where there was a small beach, which can be quite a nice beach but as it was high tide and a bit breezy not a great spot on that particular day. So no stopping off at that beach, instead we followed the path along the coast watching the eider ducks bobbing around on the water and clambering over some rocky parts of the path. It was great fun running around even if we couldn't take a dip in the sea!
It was only a short walk around passed the lighthouse to the mouth of Aberdeen Harbour, a little treasure-spot when it comes to wildlife watching. The stretch of coastline is home to many seabirds and waders like turnstone, but the big draw for most people, and what we had decided to go and see, was the pod of bottlenose dolphins that frequently visit the harbour at high tide. Sure enough as we rounded the tip of the land, we spotted a dolphin surfacing in the harbour below!
It was the first of several dolphins that we spotted playing in the sea. Further out to sea the big ships were all lined up waiting to be led into the harbour, and as one of the big ships came in we saw the dolphins bow riding!
It looked like a lot of fun! The dolphins certainly seemed to be enjoying it anyway! But watching others have fun was not fun for us, below us was a little sheltered stretch of beach with nice calm water and we wanted to play in the sea too! So while the dolphins played further out to sea, we dived in after our ChuckIt Bumper we got for Christmas (this is our second one, the other one got lost oopsie!). If the dolphins could have fun playing in the sea then we could too!
We had great fun splashing around in the water chasing our bumper and watching the dolphins leaping around at the mouth of the harbour, but it was a bit on the cold side so we weren't allowed to swim for too long.
Soon we had to head back to the car to get wrapped up in our nice warm doggie bathrobes to help us dry off quickly, we don't want to end up catching a cold! We've done well with getting to go swimming the last few days, the weather has been nice enough to allow us to take a few dips in the sea (and even a dip in the very chilly river!), it makes a nice change from the swimming through mud! Unfortunately though it looks like the swimming will end for the time being as the weather is getting worse again! Still, we will go out for our walkies whatever the weather!
If anyone would like the chance to see the dolphins at Aberdeen Harbour it is very easy, they are usually at the harbour around high tide especially in the afternoons so you stand a fair chance of seeing them. As with most wildlife it isn’t guaranteed though! There are several places to park along Greyhope road, and there is a notice board with information about the harbour dolphins at the start of the walk from the harbour side as well. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) and the Royal Society of the Protection of Birds (RSPB) also often have volunteers up there in the summer to chat to people about the dolphins, worth going along to if you want to find out more!