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RSPB Scotland's Dolphinwatch returns with a splash

11/04/14

RSPB Scotland's Dolphinwatch will make a splash in the north-east once again this year offering people a chance to see one of the UK's most impressive spectacles on their doorsteps.

The initiative was pioneered last year and was a great success with dolphins spotted on 87% of the days the project ran.

It is supported by Aberdeen City Council, Visit Aberdeen, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Scottish Natural Heritage, and optical equipment specialists Viking Optical.

This year Dolphinwatch staff, Fiona Struth and Beth Mainwaring, along with a team of volunteers, will be on hand at the Torry Battery from 11am-6pm, Thursday to Sunday every week from now until early August.

They will be equipped with binoculars and telescopes provided by Viking Optical, and expertise to help visitors get the best experience possible.

Mairi Cowan, the RSPB Scotland Community Engagement Officer who is running the project, said: "Aberdeen is a fantastic place to see dolphins and it's amazing to have a wildlife spectacle like this so close to a city centre.

"From Torry Battery you often get great views of them feeding and playing at the harbour entrance.

"We're really excited to be running Dolphinwatch for the second year and have great support again from Aberdeen City Council, Visit Aberdeen, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Scottish Natural Heritage, and Viking Optical."

Aberdeen City Council countryside officer Ian Talboys added: "We are delighted to be working with the RSPB on their Dolphinwatch project again.

"This initiative not only showcases this fantastic location, but also draws more people to this special part of Aberdeen.

"The opportunity to spot dolphins and other marine life so close to the city centre is something that is quite unique to the UK, if not Europe."

Staff and volunteers will also be working to monitor the dolphin activity at the site under the Shorewatch scheme.

Alice Walters, Scottish conservation manager with WDC, said: "We're really excited to be working with RSPB Scotland again, helping to raise awareness of the dolphins, whales, and other amazing wildlife that can be seen from our shorelines.

"Last year, Dolphinwatch staff and volunteers carried out around 160 Shorewatches for WDC. Shorewatch records collected during the project help WDC learn more about how these creatures use our coastline and how best to protect them locally."

Steve Harris, Chief Executive Visit Aberdeen, added: "People don't always realise what a great city Aberdeen is for wildlife, but hopefully this project will mean even more people will know about Aberdeen's dolphins and come to catch a glimpse."

Throughout the summer, RSPB Scotland will be running special events as part of Dolphinwatch. More information about the events planned around Dolphinwatch can be found on the RSPB Scotland Facebook page.