Dolphins take time to go forth

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Early on a gloriously calm morning in mid-May I was on the seawall at Torness when I noticed a movement in the water some 300 metres offshore, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).

Quickly I realised I was being treated to only my second sighting of dolphins in the Forth.

On the previous occasion a couple of years ago the dolphins were off North Berwick and were highly acrobatic, leaping and spinning, often completely clear of the water.

This time they were travelling, heading south towards St Abbs. Most seemed to be in pairs, often an adult and calf. I estimate there were seven or so animals in the pod, perhaps more unseen below the surface.

This population of bottlenose dolphins is usually centred around the Moray Firth but can forage all down the east coast.

Reports of dolphins in the Forth seem to grow year on year, with some pods numbering as many as 70

animals.

This tends to suggest the habitat in the Forth is very much to their liking, relatively undisturbed, with plentiful fish prey.

Perhaps we may soon, or may already,have our own locally breeding dolphins?

Surely such a prospect adds even more to the value of the Firth of Forth as a nationally important natural habitat?

Maybe we should remember that when others look upon these waters as a wide and empty space crying out for wind farms and other intrusive offshore industries?