With Easter behind us and now the May Day bank holiday fast approaching, it is time to think what to do with your day off? Why not push the housework and errands back to another day (like I always do) and head outside?
Here at the Scottish Dolphin Centre we are holding our annual Really Wild Festival on bank holiday Monday. This free entry festival starts at 10:30am – 4:30pm and is one of the highlights in the Scottish Dolphin Centre’s calendar. I have been helping to plan this event since I arrived here at the end of February and I am far too excited for the day to arrive; mainly so I can have a go at the Rockwall myself!
Dolphin Watching – ©WDC
The family friendly event is suitable for young and grown up kids a-like and there is something to do for everyone. One of the highlights of the day is the 7m outdoor climbing wall which will allow you to see over the entire Spey Bay; if you reach the top that is. Local charity Wild things are also attending and are running children’s’ activities throughout the day.
If you are bringing the little ones along look out for the pink dolphin signs on the day to point you in the right direction of the children’s activities. There is so much to choose, from face painting (I will be having my face painted), badge making, making your own dolphin, to running in the blue whale race! I got far too into the planning of the blue whale race and even suggested a staff race; safe to say that one was not well received (they knew I would win!) However there will be several age categories for the races and there will be prizes for the winners!
As we are in Scotland it is only right that there is a pipe band playing; the Buckie and District Pipe Band will be playing 2 slots on the day. There is also music from the Talking Rhythms Drum Group and if you like their music they are also holding drumming workshops throughout the day; so why not learn the African drums? No event is complete without food and drink either; Starbucks will be giving away a limited supply of free coffee, the Codfather will be selling sustainable fish and chips, there will be local food and drinks stalls and to round it off why not try a delicious cake from our café?
Bottlenose dolphin- © Aimee Burrows
If we are really lucky the dolphins may even put in an appearance too! We’ll be doing dolphin watching every hour on the hour at Shorewatch Hill, where a member of staff will have their eyes trained to sea to spot the world’s largest bottlenose dolphins. However, it is not just dolphins that call Spey Bay their home! On the day there will be two guided walks around the reserve, 11am and 2pm, with sign-up sheets at the information point. I decided to go for a walk along the river a few days ago to see what I could see and I saw a breadth of wildlife. Curlews feeding in the fields, terns relaxing on a log in the river, willow warblers singing in the trees, common sandpipers calling from the river banks, swallows and sand martins dancing over the river and, one of my favourites, two ospreys fishing. There was also a whole host of butterflies fluttering around my ankles as I walked along the river banks creating a kaleidoscope of colours from peacocks, to tortoiseshells, to orange tips. So keep your eyes peeled on the walks and see what you can find!
Willow warbler – © Aimee Burrows
Female orange tip – © Aimee Burrows
Bullfinch- © Aimee Burrows
I could carry on writing about what is happening here at the Really Wild Festival on 5th May but I thought I would leave you a few surprises for the day! Parking for the event will be at Spey Bay Golf Club and there is a charge of £2 per car. Now I have given you a taste of what to expect why not come down on Monday and celebrate the great Scottish outdoors with all of us here at WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre.
If anyone has any questions or would like some more information please contact us on 01343 820339.