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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

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Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

Introductions, Voyages and Warriors

Muc-mhara-crotach – the gaelic for humpback whale. This was taught to me during the first hour of the Easter Sunday event by a very cheerful little boy, who then revealed that it was his favourite whale. The fact that it is also my favourite whale is a coincidence that made us both smile! I have enjoyed many conversations with members of the public since beginning my time here at the Scottish Dolphin Centre, and so far these moments have been some of my definite highlights.

I’m Catherine, one of the guide education volunteers here this year, along with Holly. It’s still fairly early in the season but we have already had the chance to get out there and say hi to lots of you! I was lucky enough to travel up to Caithness in March and enjoyed the science festival; it was my first chance to go to an event and it was great to see so many people during the day. We also had the chance to visit the local schools and introduce them to the whales and dolphins they could see along their coast. It was great to see the enthusiasm for these animals, and we had some very good questions from everybody! My favourite was “what about the crocodiles?” which was asked by a youngster from a nursery group (three times).

Whilst in Caithness we were very lucky with the weather, and made use of this to do some whale and dolphin watching. I didn’t see any dolphins during the trip, but I did see lots of sea birds, including razorbills and fulmars. At one point I was looking out over the sea with a bright blue sky, a rainbow, and fulmars flying in figures of eight over my head. It was picture perfect.


Over the Easter holidays we had two of our Wildlife Warriors sessions – our holiday club for children. Despite the hail and wind we managed to enjoy the anatomy obstacle course in the ice house, with a brilliant oesophagus tunnel made by Holly. We also made brain hats; I still have mine, it might come in handy for dopey moments! The second session was much nicer weather wise, so we spent the afternoon playing games in the sun – it was ospreys verses dolphins, with everything to play for right to the end.

We’ve got lots of events coming up to take us into summer, which we’re all looking forward to,  and with dolphin sightings on the increase no day is the same here at Spey Bay. I love it here, and enjoy sharing things with the people who come in. I also love it when people share their facts and favourites with me.

So, I now know my favourite whale is Muc-mhara-crotach; if you see me around, I’d love to find out yours!

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.