By Alyce Collins
STUNNING images have captured these Bottlenose dolphins showing off their impressive acrobatic flips off the coast of the Scottish Highlands.
The fascinating photographs show the dolphins jumping out of the water and flipping through the air before diving back into the depths of the water.
Other shots show the dolphins emerging out of the water carrying small fish in their mouths, as if to proudly show their prey to the audience of people.
The incredible photographs were taken at Moray Firth, Scottish Highlands by award winning wildlife photographer Terry Whittaker.
Scotland is one of only three locations to boast a population of Bottlenose dolphins all year round, however they are most frequently sighted in the spring and summer months as the state of the sea is much calmer during these seasons.
According to Danny Groves from ‘Whale and Dolphin Conservation’:
“The dolphins in Scotland are the biggest Bottlenose dolphins in the world as they have plenty of blubber to resist the cold seas where they live.
“The population sizes can vary, but there are an estimated 190 dolphins in Scotland, with a further 200 in Cardigan Bay and 28 in Cornwall.”
‘Whale and Dolphin Conservation’ supports the funding for conservation, and they are campaigning to stop whaling and the captivity of whales. The organisation also petitioned to the U.S government to expand the Critical Habitat for endangered whales, leading to 40,000 miles of projected ocean off the U.S east coast.
WDC has also created protected marine areas in Bangladesh, and a reduced ship speed along the U.S east coast to protect the whales in this area.
Notable locations for dolphin sightings include Moray Firth and Chanonry Point in Scotland. However, there are also populations in Cornwall and Wales.
During the spring and summer seasons, registered trips are organised to take people out to sea to see the group of dolphins for themselves. During these months, the dolphins are usually breeding and are more likely to be spotted out of the water.
For more information see https://www.terrywhittaker.com/index