Looking for the Aurora at the Scottish Dolphin Centre

By WDC Residential Volunteer Christiana.

One of my dreams has always been to see the Northern Lights.

Now living at Spey Bay as a residential volunteer guide is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my ecological journey, nay, my life. I can spend part of the day shore-watching, which is where I can stare at the sea for ten minutes looking for cetaceans and counting boats, I can talk to visitors about my passion for cetaceans and how they eat, I can see the absolutely stunning sunsets and I can walk on the beach to my heart’s content in my free time.

Throughout the day of work at the Centre, there were mentions of it being the Aurora season. We have seen the stunning camera photos of them from Burghead, not too far away, and I was determined to see the Aurora myself.

We downloaded an app with real time aurora updates that Cath the volunteer coordinator/ Scottish Dolphin Centre Officer recommended and after dinner at about 9.45 I dragged my housemate Amber to the beach. We were officially on AURORA WATCH!

Clear Night Sky 14 Sept 2023

The sky above

We sat on the stones of the beach and stared at the stars, of which there were hundreds. Above us there was what seemed to be a cloud with the slightest greenish tinge. To be honest to the naked eye, it wasn’t widely impressive thus far, Amber and I chatted for a while about every topic we could think of under the stars, I saw a shooting star! I took a 3 second exposure picture on my phone of the sky above us.

We went onto the beach again at 1 in the morning (we set an alarm) but we couldn’t see anything at all. And the next night we went out and it was too cloudy…

While I remain determined to see the Aurora clearer in all its colours with just my eyes…

That 3 second exposure picture, reader, I captured the Aurora!

Aurora Borealis

We’ll be out on the beach again when it’s not too cloudy and when the moon isn’t interfering with the aurora. We will hopefully see it again. I keep checking the app for prime aurora conditions.
Until next time reader!