Highlands & Islands

Firth awakens: Moray dolphins 'Yoda' and 'Zephyr' in action

Dolphins "Scoopy" and "Yoda" Image copyright Charlie Phillips/WDC
Image caption Dolphins "Scoopy" and "Yoda"

The Moray Firth's bottlenose dolphins have been documented hunting and playing in a series of images by a Whale and Dolphin Conservation officer.

North Kessock-based Charlie Phillips has spent years observing and photographing the mammals along the firth's Highland and Moray coastlines.

Many of the dolphins can be easily identified by the WDC field officer and others who work for the charity.

The animals are known by names including Zephyr and Yoda.

Among the animals photographed by Mr Phillips on Thursday was Zephyr's baby.

Image copyright Charlie Phillips/WDC
Image caption One of the bottlenose dolphins - known to wildlife watchers as Zephyr - feeding in the firth
Image copyright Charlie Phillips/WDC
Image caption A dolphin known as Beatrice in action
Image copyright Charlie Phillips/WDC
Image caption Zephyr's baby
Image copyright Charlie Phillips/WDC
Image caption Zephyr's baby rolling on top of Beatrice

An estimated 102 individual dolphins breed and feed in the firth, according to a recent survey of the animals.

The Moray Firth and North Sea provide habitat for the world's most northerly resident population of bottlenose dolphins.

The species is protected by European Union rules.

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