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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Dolphin lovers taking the plunge
Dolphin - generic
Dolphin and whale numbers are being counted
Volunteers are being urged to have a whale of a time by helping to count how many of the mammals are swimming in the waters off Scotland's coast.

Monitoring of whales and dolphins is taking place this weekend at Torry Battery in Aberdeen and Stonehaven Harbour.

It marks the end of Whale and Dolphin Watch Week, organised by the charity the Sea Watch Foundation.

The idea is to get "a snapshot" of the mammal population.

It is also aimed at boosting awareness of conservation, in an effort to protect the species.

Killer whales

Volunteer Sarah Canning, of Aberdeen University, said: "We're hoping people will come along and help us make a record of the dolphins and whales found off our shores this weekend.

"The most common species that can be seen in this area is the bottlenose dolphin.

"Harbour porpoises can also be seen all year but there are more sightings of them during the summer months and that's the same for white-beaked dolphins."

She added: "The minke whale is one of the most common whales around here. But some people might also be surprised to learn that killer whales, pilot whales and even humpbacked whales have been spotted off Aberdeen."

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