RSPB Dolphinwatch prepares to entertain visitors this summer with new wildlife events in Aberdeen
RSPB Dolphinwatch is inviting visitors to join the team at Torry Battery for a summer of beach cleans, rockpooling and other special events. The events will be open to everyone and aim to connect people with the marine environment and encourage them to protect it.
Dolphinwatch will celebrate Scottish marine life this summer with three engaging family events, as well as regular rockpooling sessions and beach cleans. Now in its seventh year, the project, which is led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is based at Torry Battery, a spot which has a growing reputation as one of the best places to see bottlenose dolphins in Europe.
Returning by popular demand, the first family event of the year will be Marine Mammal Madness on 6 July. Otherwise known as the Dolphinwatch sports day, visitors will have the chance to take part in several active games and challenges to learn about the special adaptations of salt water mammals and see how their own skills match up. Leaping like a dolphin in the long jump, diving into the limbo or racing their way through man-made threats in the obstacle course, participants will be put through their paces in this competitive family fun day.
On 10 August, Detective Day will offer visitors the chance to dive into some food chain forensics to solve a series of mysterious clues and reveal the truth behind a perplexing crime scene. Aimed at families with children aged 7-12 years, this event will explore the wildlife food chain whilst introducing some iconic local species and building team working skills.
The season will finish with the Big Wildlife Picnic on 17 August, which will celebrate spending time with loved ones outdoors. Everyone will be invited to bring food, a picnic blanket and to take part in games and activities that will help them to discover and identify the wildlife around them.
Emily Burton, Dolphinwatch Visitor Experience Officer, said: “I can’t wait to get stuck into the exciting events that we have lined up this year! We’ve got some old favorites returning as well as some brand-new events designed to engage people with marine wildlife and hopefully encourage them protect it. I’m really looking forward to seeing lots of people having fun outdoors, meeting new friends and reconnecting with nature.
I’m especially keen to run the Detective Day, as I love coming up with creative ways to connect young people with the natural world and challenge them to work as team to solve puzzles and complete challenges. It’s going to be great to meet some budding detectives and see if they’re up to the task!”
The dedicated team of RSPB Scotland staff and volunteers will also be running rockpooling sessions on the last Saturday of every month and beach cleans on the last Sunday of every month. These activities will be led by a member of the Dolphinwatch team who will assist and support participants to get the most out of their experience and provide them with the necessary equipment.
Emily added: “The Dolphinwatch project is incredibly special because it offers a glimpse of some beautiful wild animals just outside the busy city centre and is accessible and inclusive for everyone. However, here and around the world natural habitats are under threat from human activity. That’s why we need as many people as possible to come out and help us take action for nature! We’ll be cleaning up the beach and the surrounding area on the last Sunday of every month this season and we would love to see as many people as possible come out and help us!”
These events will be held in addition to popular Dolphinwatch viewing, where RSPB staff and volunteers provide binoculars, information and assistance to spot the bottlenose dolphins, which regularly visit the Aberdeen Harbour to feed. Viewing is free and runs every Thursday to Sunday from 11am until 5pm until 18 August.
The RSPB Dolphinwatch team also provide community outreach talks for local groups interested in learning more about the bottlenose dolphins seen in Aberdeen. These interactive sessions are accompanied by a bespoke set of resources designed to further the participants understanding of the dolphins and the marine environment.
Dolphinwatch is a ScottishPower Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded project led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).