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Dolphins, Whales and other marine life

visitors to the Isle of Mull are always amazed at the wide range of animals that can easily be spotted from the shore, and on boat trips around the island. We've highlighted areas where there have been prominent sightings of marine animals on our interactive map.


There are a number of Dolphin species which call these waters home; however, the Bottlenose Dolphin is the most commonly seen in the bay. The Bottlenose Dolphin is probably the best know of all dolphin species, and are commonly found inshore. There have been several reports of these animals spotted in the bay at the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa. They are known for their playful disposition and have achieved celebrity status in Tobermory, where they have often been seen in the bay on clear days playing.

The smallest of the dolphin species to the waters of Mull is the Common Dolphin. Common Dolphins are summer visitors to the Hebrides and are seen between May and September. These animals are extremely acrobatic and the first sign is usually of them leaping out of the water. When close to boats they will often approach and bow-ride. The groups seen in local waters usually number 10-50 individuals, however further ashore numbers can reach into the thousands.


Whales are also visitors to this part of Scotland. Minke Whlaes are the most commonly seen, however, Killer Whales have also been seen in the waters around Mull.  Minke Whales tend to surface between 3 – 8 times before they go for a longer foraging dive, and areas where these animals can be seen is outlined on the interactive map. Killer Whales are reported every year in the waters around the Isle of Mull and if you are lucky enough to see one, or any other marine animal, then please get in contact with us so we can upload it to our interactive map.


One of the most common animals seen on the shores of the Isle of Mull is the Harbour Seal. They tend to inhabit areas closer to the shore, however, during pupping times (June/July) they tend to move to more isolated areas. The UK population is estimated to be around 50,000 to 60,000 of which about 85% are found around Scotland and usually tend to gravitate to rocky shores.


Otters can regularly be seen in the bay at the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa. Throughout the UK they are usually found by their trails as they are nocturnal, however, on Mull they are more dependant on the state of the tide rather than the time of day. Incoming tides on rocky shores, with a bit of patience can give the best chance to catch a glimpse of these animals.

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