Thomas Plant was a residential volunteer at the Scottish Dolphin Centre in 2011. In his #SpeyBayStory, he shares his memories of the wonderful sights and sounds of his time here.
At Spey Bay nature surrounds you
It’s everywhere you look
It was here, that I learnt about parachuting skylarks and
Key rattling corn buntings
In spring the swallows returned and filled the rafters in the old court yard, the old high windows left open just for them.
The bay filled with sound as gulls and terns noisily chased ospreys carrying fish and warblers sang from every bush.
We walked the coastal grassland and counted small blue butterflies, Burnet moths and common blues
Moving amongst the colourful kidney vetch, trefoil, knapweed and clover.
In summer the nights were long and warm and we saw bats, badgers and owls and watched otters playing in the surf.
In late summer we watched a family group of minke whales peacefully feeding in the nearby Cullen Bay as they lazily lunged at large shoals of fish.
Autumn brought brambles, apples and large skeins of geese.
We held events in the Ice House
Folk music and folk tales with selkie shadow puppet plays at Halloween.
We didn’t stay for winter but from spring through to autumn the dolphins were there nearly daily.
We’d see them at sunrise and sunset and all times of day in between.
Hunting salmon near the river month or breaching further out at sea. Throwing fish, tail slapping and summersaulting!
And the visitors of all ages were always excited to see the dolphins and to be shown them through the ‘big eyes’ oversized binoculars.