The Angus coastline is a brilliant place to do a bit of land based whale and dolphin watching. If you visit the coast regularly you may be lucky enough to see a bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise or even a minke whale. Other visitors include the common dolphin, orca and humpback whale.

Bottlenose and baby dolphins - (c) Claire Lacey

What makes the Angus Coast such a great spot?

Angus has many headlands overlooking our rivers. These elevated spots are brilliant for scanning the horizon, looking out for that tell-tale dorsal fin, large gatherings of sea birds and even the spray from a passing whale as it exhales. Don’t forget coastal towns and villages including East Haven, Carnoustie and Monifieth bordering the outer Tay Estuary. They can be great spots at a lower elevation to watch dolphins travel by.

Wildlife Watching in Angus

Following the food…

Angus rivers, including the North and South Esks, are world famous salmon and trout rivers. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in Montrose Bay, particularly in the summer months, hunting salmon in river mouths as they merge with the North Sea.

Mackerel are another favourite and whales and dolphins move along the coast to feed on migrating fish. Seaton Cliffs at Arbroath command far reaching views and families of dolphin can be seen travelling North and South in search of prey. Lunan Bay and Auchmithie also provide further opportunities to scan the sea from an advantageous view point.

Minke Whale in Angus ©Laurie Campbell/SNH

What might you see?

Based on sightings from the length of the Angus Coast, collected by the public since 2011, the most common species recorded was the bottlenose dolphin. Most sightings were 0-100ms from shore and most encounters were approximately 15 minutes long, although animals spend longer feeding at river mouths, particularly in Montrose Bay. Most common pod sizes are between 1 & 5 animals, sometimes with calves.

You can find out more in the Whale & Dolphin Watching on the Angus Coast guide.

Montrose Bay

Get involved

Spending time on the Angus coast is great at any time of year. If you want to know more about the coast, where whales and dolphins have been most recently spotted, and how to identify them, visit Marine Life Angus.

Why not contribute towards conserving the fantastic wildlife of Angus by sharing your sightings? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at and on twitter @marinelifeangus.

Images – (c) Charlie Phillips, WDC, Kelly Ann Dempsey.

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