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A Day of Surprises

a bird flying over a body of water

Fun And (a bit of) Sun!
A slightly misleading title if ever there was one; we didn’t have too much sun out on the firth today, as it came in dribs and drabs throughout the day, but the fun was in plenty supply! While we were out and about today, it wasn’t just dolphins that we got to watch, as the RNLI over at North Kessock were busy putting on a show for visitors to their open day! They had displays, not just of their own lifeboat, but with the Invergordon Lifeboat and Coastguard 951 helicopter as well! We got to see a little bit of it throughout the trips we had today, which added a little bit of something different to our day! We also got quite the surprise to find Kesslet and Charlie were hanging around the river first thing in the morning! Kesslet even took the time to hunt out towards the canal, before all the noise started and the boats hit the water. When we came out at 12pm, we fully expected it to be dead (as the dolphins have shown us over the past few years that the open day is one of their least favourite days in the season!), but we were once again surprised not once, but twice! As we left the river, we spotted Charlie bobbing about in the distance. As we watched him, Kesslet appeared alongside us out of nowhere, poking her head right out of the water as she came up to have a good old look. But that was merely the beginning…

The Coastguard Helicopter delights the crowd gathered at the North Kessock RNLI Station

Out Came the Fin ID Sheets!
On the return leg of the trip, we were keeping our eyes peeled for any signs of Kesslet or Charlie, in case they had finally decided to move out of the river. We didn’t see them, but we did find another curvy fin on the move just east of the ICT Stadium; Zephyr and her youngster were having a bit of a nosey! While Zephyr clearly had her eyes on the fish, her youngster was having a great time, bouncing about the firth for a short while as the pair disappeared behind us. Again, that was not all, as another 3 fins popped up shortly after. Two were too distant to identify (but I am now certain it was Kesslet and Charlie moving out), but the one that came in close was a new one for us! A big male by the name of Beatrice; funny name for a boy dolphin, but he was named after the old oil platform of the same name! It left us scratching our heads for a moment before whipping out the ID catalogue to have a look, and sure enough there he was. Sadly that would be the last fin for the afternoon, but we did get to enjoy the company of our local seal colony throughout the rest of the day. Just goes to show, you never know who might turn up out on the water; that’s the fourth Saturday this season where we’ve had a surprise dolphin bonanza to keep us awake and looking! Wow!