Observed off the coast of Birsay, Mainland, Orkney.
No interactions present.
A couple of the dolphins that are showing their beaks above water look to have a relatively short beak compared to other bottlenoses I have seen - is this a characteristic of the population in this area or just a distortion caused by the water?
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
I agree that the beaks look atypical, but the angles are not the best. That is why I did not go for a 100% ID. However, I think all the other likely dolphins and toothed whales can be excluded on head profile, lack of white, or by the forward position of dorsal fin. The other plain-grey candidates, Pilot Whale and Risso's Dolphin, are very different in head shape. One beast does seem to have a pale beak, but the others lack the pale areas you would see on White-beaked D. I am not aware of any geographic differences in beak length of BND.
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
I agree on these. I'm also not aware of beak size being different, though the pelagic ones we generally get around Britain are supposed to be smaller than the coastal ones found elsewhere, especially around the coasts of the USA (at last something is not bigger in the USA!) - which is perverse as the relatively sedentary population in the Moray Firth are amongst the largest bottle-nosed dolphins.
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Lat/Lng: 59.1392, -3.3402
OS grid ref: HY234288
Off the coast of Birsay, Mainland, Orkney