Bottlenose Dolphins in the Tay

Watching the Dolphins

Good places to watch the dolphins include:

  • Broughty Ferry Beach.
  • Broughty Ferry Esplanade – close to the Castle.
  • The grassy area around Broughty Ferry Castle.
  • The breakwater at Broughty Ferry Harbour.
  • The Broughty Ferry Promenade.
  • In the channel between Broughty Ferry Esplanade and Tentsmuir (binoculars useful)

Good times to look for the dolphins include:

  • Summer evenings – 5 o’clock onwards seems a good time. Dolphins pass close to viewing areas.
  • As the tide is coming in – dolphins tend to follow shoals of fish upstream.
  • When the sea state is ‘choppy’.
  • When there are no jet skis or powerboats around.


  • No specialist equipment is needed, but a 7x–10x pair of binoculars will give stunning closeups.
  • Still cameras / Video cameras with zoom lenses will capture some great pictures.

WDCS Cetacean Watching Code of Conduct

Whales and dolphins are highly intelligent animals, sensitive to disturbance and can be hit by vessels, including their propellers. If they approach the boat or bow-ride, maintain a slow speed and course until clear. Cetaceans should never be chased or harassed in an attempt to make them bow-ride. When watching dolphins, always let them decide what happens.

When watching marine mammals please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Keep your distance. Never go closer than 100m (200m if another boat is present).
  • Never drive head on to, or move between, scatter or separate dolphins. If unsure of their movements, simply stop and put the engine into neutral.
  • Please spend no longer than 15 minutes near the animals.
  • Special care must be taken with mothers and young.
  • Maintain a steady direction and slow 'no wake' speed.
  • Never try to swim with cetaceans for your safety and theirs.
  • Do not dispose of any rubbish, litter or contaminants at sea.