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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

They've got a lot of bottlenose! Dolphins' frolics in front of tanker caught on camera


Double act: The Bottlenoses dolphin play at Chanonry Point, Moray Firth, Scotland

At break-net speed a dolphin bursts from the sea and flies like a bullet straight at the camera.

These pictures form part of one-man's stunning British collection of the world's most northern population of Bottlenose Dolphins.

The dolphins were all caught on camera by devoted amateur wildlife photographer Tim Stenton, 46, from Wirksworth, Derbs.

He has spent an unwavering 100 days stationed on the beach at Chanonry Point overlooking the Scottish Highland's Moray Firth, near Inverness.

Animal lover Tim has faithfully returns to set up camp every year - driven by his passion to catch a glimpse of some of Britain's most spectacular marine mammals.

He said: 'I wanted to celebrate some our most amazing wildlife. My aim has been to capture as much of their behaviour as possible.

Playful: Tim Stenton sets up camp in Scotland every year just to catch a glimpse of the marine animals

'I set up on the beach and just watch out over the waves. With patience you'll eventually spot something.

'And it goes to show you don't necessarily need to be out on a boat. there's plenty of opportunities from land if you are prepared to sit tight.

'There are certain times of the year when the salmon become more concentrated in the area, and this makes spotting the dolphins more likely.

Dance of the dolphin: Photographer Tim captures the animals as they leap in and out of the water

'But the salmon are present all year round, even if there numbers vary, and this means that you can see the dolphins at any time.

'It's nice to see these creatures at home without having to fly to the other side of the world.

'It shows you that there is some amazing British wildlife out there and you can witness some of the most spectacular behaviour in the animal kingdom very close to home.'

Leading the way: This bottlenose dolphin bow rides on the approaching 'Border Thistle', a coastal oil tanker

During his epic one-man project spanning seven years Tim has pictured some dolphins flying straight at the camera.

Other images show the creatures spiralling through the air in unison - and frozen in time by Tim's camera.

A rare photographs shows how Tim spotted three dolphins breaching at the same time in an explosive action-packed moment.

Flipper: The dolphins were all caught on camera during an epic one-man project spanning seven years

He has also captured the dolphins hunting 15-pound Atlantic Salmon - with the huge fish leaping high out of the water in an effort to escape the hunters.

One picture even shows a tiny calf swimming alongside an adult, while opportunities for more perfect shots also come for Tim when he sees them hitching a free ride.

By bow-riding on ships transporting oil to nearby Inverness, the animals save energy for hunting as they ride the wake created by the ships.

Some of the dolphins weigh more than half a ton and can grow to 3.9 metres.

source: dailymail


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