Concerns about the potential for a stranding incident have eased after an unusual visit by a pod of bottlenose dolphins to the Cromarty Firth in Scotland.
While the Moray Firth is famous for its resident bottlenose dolphins, the 50 or so dolphins that were involved in this visit were from a different population.
The firth lies off the larger Moray Firth and experts were worried that the dolphins, unfamiliar with the area, might head for shallow waters. Even though the group has left the firth, two dolphins have sadly died. Their bodies have been recovered and will now be examined for a cause of death.
WDC's Adopt a Dolphin Field Officer, Charlie Phillips commented: "We are more than used to watching our own resident dolphins at certain places like Cromarty and Chanonry Point and Kessock and along the coast.
“But for a big group of bottlenoses that don’t belong to this area it is quite unusual especially this amount, 40 or 50 bottlenoses – that’s a fair amount. We do see our dolphins in big groups of this size too but normally it’s in groups of about seven-10 or so.
“And the way that they are behaving is unusual as well, they are actually behaving more like pilot whales, they are very cohesive, they are all packed together like sardines.”
It is hoped the dolphins will now return to deeper waters out in the North Sea.