Cut Dolphin 2 Dolphin Gallery
Cut Dolphin 2 Tail

A Community Boat Service operated by the Taymara Charity

River Tay Bottlenose Dolphins

The photos of Bottlenose Dolphins in the River Tay on this page were taken from vessels Badger and Marigot run and maintained by the Taymara charity while on passenger carrying trips for the local community
In recent years dolphins have returned to the River Tay possibly because of increased water quality as a result of the River Tay Wastewater Scheme being built. While the Tay dolphins are also known to frequent the Moray Firth, their frequent presence in the Tay extends from around May to October so it’s possible to regard these dolphins as at least a semi permanent population.


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Acrobatics (or aerobatics?) as seen from Badger off Broughty Ferry


This dolphin rode on Marigot’s bow-wave in the River Tay near the Inner Buoys (off Barry Buddon) for about 15 minutes, often turning on her side to look at us.  Marigot had sailed into an unusually smooth patch of surface water  which, for once, really was like a mirror. This allowed me to get a few  exceptionally clear photographs of the dolphin swimming underwater while leaning over the bow. While within this area of unusually smooth water she suddenly dove vertically and disappeared from view.


The plume of  white water extending from this dolphin’s head above is caused by her exhaling just before she breaks the surface. This can make quite an explosive  sound which can carry for some distance. This particular dolphin,  however made quite a musical note that I could best describe as  somewhere between a flute sound and that of a reed.


These are Bottlenose dolphins. The pod inhabiting the Tay has been  observed to consist of up to 50 individuals and include new born calves so they appear to be breeding successfully in this area. The Scottish Bottlenose Dolphins are the most northerly population in the world and have a tendency to be larger than normal, perhaps as a result of having to bulk up, the better to thrive in our colder Northern Waters.


These dolphins hardly appeared to be moving - just the slightest movements of their tails kept them in position ahead of our boat. Their swimming abilities and sheer power have to be seen to be believed


Seen from Marigot’s bow rail


Marigot with passengers on the rail


Dolphins!”     Thar they blow.... from Badger.


And thar they are. Off Tentsmuir forest, in mid channel.


High leaps off Barry Buddon


....high jinks more like, and a perfect curved jump. Another thing humans can’t do.


Swimming upside down while surfing Badger’s bow. Why not?


...Introducing the real badger who lives above the Navigation Station and who squeaks profoundly whenever questioned on any topic apart from sport.


The first close up sighting of a dolphin is a memorable experience. So are all the others.


Off Broughty Ferry.


Most large, powerful wild animals who approach human beings voluntarily... tend to want to eat us. These guys don’t and we appreciate that.


Not one of nature’s more elusive creatures.


Synchronised swimming off Tentsmuir.


Mother and baby - swimming close in clear glassy water


We reckoned about 40-50 dolphins overall, swimming with the boat as they all left the Tay Estuary for the North Sea on this particular afternoon. We happened to be going in the same direction, out to the Bell Rock, so they came in close for about 30 minutes.




Off Monifieth


Mother and young. On a still day when they’re close, a stink of fish might carry to the boat on their exhaled breath - as though being accosted by too many cats at once.


Off Scotscraig Lighthouse (across from Broughty Ferry)



Dolphins at Tentsmuir-650x487

Two young bottlenosed dolphins leading the boat by the bow.


Taymara is a charity run entirely by volunteers on a not for profit basis for the benefit of the local community.

We aim to provide a community boat service and maritime experience through sightseeing and dolphin watching trips which allow great opportunities to see the river and its wildlife as it should be seen - from the water!

In addition, we aim to provide sea training for individuals and vulnerable groups who might normally be excluded from this experience.
We also work closely with organisations who provide recovery and rehabilitation programmes which encompass drug and alchohol abuse.

(Taymara is registered in Scotland, Charity number SC039319. Company number SC334650)

Thanks to all our sponsors and all those who have supported us  - 

Mr Clive McKeag, The DC Thomson Charitable Trust, The St. Katherines Trust, The Mathew Trust, The Tay Charitable Trust, The Alexander Moncur Trust, The Robertson Trust, Forth Ports and the Port of Dundee, The Apex Hotel, Dundee City Council, David Winch and Gareth Norman of Secureforce Controlled Environments

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Images and web design are protected by copyright - Ken Bushe, webmaster   (e-mail)

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