Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2012

Inverness - Scotland

 Wildlife - Landscape - The Natural World

Digital files available to buy for Brochures - Magazines - Books - Postcards - Internet - Wildlife Interpretation

Please scroll down for some examples of my work - please enjoy...

but if you don't see what you require then please contact me on

01463 731110 or  07535536993

or e-mail me:

work from my wife Susans "Aurorabearealis" Art & Craft Studio 

Main Street,North Kessock IV1 3XN

All photographs © Charlie Phillips or Charlie Phillips/WDC All Rights Reserved

Hard at "work" with Canon EOS 1DX + Canon 500mm F4 MKII IS Lens 


I've used (and still do) a lot of Canon Equipment over the years including

 Canon 1D MKII, MKIIN & MKIII, MKIV, and lately the fantastic IDX DSLR Cameras + 500mm f4 MKII IS  

+ 600 mm F4 IS, 400mm F2.8 IS & 300 F2.8 IS & 70-200 F2.8 IS Canon Lenses.


For Wildlife Friendly Holiday Accommodation Please See Bottom of Page.


Moray Firth Bottlenose Dolphins...

Most of my WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) work is with the resident population

of dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland. Read my online blog about my work with the

Bottlenose dolphins that you can adopt through the

WDC Adopt a Dolphin scheme

                                                                                                                                                                          I also "Tweet" about my dolphin work  


All these images are of wild, free dolphins.


 Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) 

 Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin & calf (Tursiops truncatus) 

Bottlenose dolphin calf (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin somersaulting (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)


Bottlenose dolphin baby breaching (Tursiops truncatus)

 Bottlenose dolphin & salmon (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin & salmon (Tursiops truncatus)

Bottlenose dolphin & salmon (Tursiops truncatus)

Watching dolphins from the beach at Chanonry Point, Black Isle


The Science behind the photographs....

 Photography became part of my job as Marine Mammal Interpretation Officer at the Dolphin and Seal Visitor & Research Centre at North Kessock.

To understand wild animals and explain their lifestyles to the general public - especially marine mammals such as seals and dolphins, it helps if you can get to know

your local characters - who, especially in the case of our local wonderful bottlenose dolphins - can be recognised by natural marking on the dorsal fin.

If you can obtain good, detailed matching photos of these marks (a research method called mark re-capture) you can be pretty confident that you are seeing the same animals,

as the chances of two animals having exactly the same markings is highly unlikely. If you see me at Chanonry Point or North Kessock, I may be taking photos of the fins,

but if dolphins start to get energetic, then I take these dynamic images too. Most people know me through my dolphin photographs and the Dolphin & Seal Centre. 

They often ask me if I get bored taking photos of dolphins... Silly question really!

Dolphin I.D. (Identification) photos

(How we tell dolphins apart)

 Fin showing scratches and nicks - this is "Rainbow" ID# 31

All these nicks and marks make each dolphin unique - this is "Mischief" ID# 23

Scientific studies of these beautiful animals is a long term and ongoing process, led by Professor Paul Thompson and the team

from the Aberdeen University Lighthouse Field Station based at Cromarty. The Lighthouse collate the identification catalogue that uses some of my pictures.

Visit the Lighthouse website and have a look at the very best research into the Moray Firth dolphins and the marine environment. 

I am delighted to be working alongside these dedicated people.


Over on the West Coast of Scotland at Gairloch, a great ongoing research project about Harbour Porpoises started by a friend of mine has

continued to be a leading example on how careful boat based research and wildlife trips that the visitor to the area can enjoy, can and should be done.

The public are invited onboard the MV Starquest to enjoy the knowledge and the care and attention of Ian French, marine biologist and wildlife expert.

To experience the amazing wildlife and scenic beauty of this area then please contact Ian's wife,

Samantha French at their harbour-side office in the Wester Ross village of Gairloch, Tel: 01445 712636 or visit their website.


Apart from research, good photographs can also be useful to illustrate audio/visual presentations and can be used as an educational tool.

I work with the marine charity  Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) on their Scottish Dolphin Team as Dolphin Field Officer,

supplying images and writing articles for their Adopt a Dolphin Website - a great way of getting dolphin and other wildlife issues across

and also a good way of letting people have a glimpse of the beautiful countryside and animals that I work with every day.


Otter (Lutra lutra)

Otter (Lutra lutra) with lumpsucker

Otter (Lutra lutra)


Otter Cub (Lutra lutra)

Otter with eel (Lutra lutra)

Otter with scorpion fish (Lutra lutra)

Otter (Lutra lutra)



Grey Seal pup (Halichoerus grypus)

Grey Seal pup (Halichoerus grypus)

Common Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Common Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Common Seal (Phoca vitulina)


Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)




Red Kite (Milvus milvus)

Short Eared Owl (Asio flammeus)


Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus)

Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus)

Male Red Grouse  (Lagopus lagopus scotica)


Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Osprey on Post (Pandion haliaetus)

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

White Tailed Sea Eagle (Halaeetus albacilla)

Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Gannet (Sula bassana)

Gannet (Sula bassana) 

Shag   (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)


Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

Wigeon (Anas penelope) at Sunset

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) on nest

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus)


Ever wanted to go on an expertly guided bird photography tuition trip?

Look no further than Marcus Conway  (2011 Scottish Wildlife Photographer of the Year !) who runs Ebirder, great photographer and a really nice bloke too !





Tarbat Ness


Beauly Firth

Dunscaith Castle, Isle of Skye

Moody Light, Isle of Skye

Sunset Through Trees


Charleston,  Ross-shire

Gairloch,  Wester Ross

Callanish, Isle of Lewis

Findochty Harbour

Plockton - Wester Ross

Kessock Bridge - Inverness


Kessock Bridge - Inverness

Chanonry Ness, Fortrose



Chanonry Lighthouse - Fortrose

Chanonry Point, Fortrose

Isle Ornsay Lighthouse - Isle of Skye

Fearn Abbey - Ross-shire

Grieg Street Bridge - Inverness



Some Furry Things...



Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)


Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)


Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

Baby Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Pine Marten (Martes martes)

Pine Marten (Martes martes)

Pine Marten (Martes martes)

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Hind in snow

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Stag in snow

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Stags at Dusk

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Hinds & young at Dusk

Bank Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)


Highland Cow (Bos taurus)

Huskies at the Aviemore Sled Rally


 Clients Include:

The Scottish Parliament 

The Highland Council

Aberdeenshire Council

The Moray Firth Partnership

Scottish Tourist Board

Scotland & Northern Ireland Forum For Environmental Research

Tourism & Environment Forum

Historic Scotland

Rucksack Readers 

Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society

Marine Conservation Society


BBC Wildlife Magazine

Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Natural History Museum

Ness Publishing

Readers Digest

Local, National and International Books, Newspapers, Websites & Magazines

Local Accommodation Businesses

Private Commission work a speciality 


Please contact me - Charlie Phillips -  to discuss prices and your requirements.


Telephone 01463-731110

Mobile 07881713702


Please become a member of Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) by clicking on the link below and help

support vital research and conservation for all the worlds Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises - especially our amazing

Bottlenose dolphins here in the Moray Firth. You can even adopt a dolphin!

 Thank You and Best Wishes - Charlie Phillips.



I am delighted to supply marine images to the Dolphin Space Programme



Wildlife Friendly Accommodation...


This is an ever growing list of  people that I know who have either Bed & Breakfast facilities or actual cottages to let for holidays.

Some are located on the Black Isle, an ideal place to be for dolphin watching. Others are a bit farther afield but are well worth travelling to. 

Set in the stunning location of Elgol, Isle of Skye, Bob & Marieanne McMillan have a lovely house to let. Bob runs the great birding website

and it's where you can find out about the holiday accommodation. As a location for wildlife and scenery it really doesn't get much better than this!

Ian and Elizabeth Ross have these lovely cottages on the Black Isle. A great country location and only a few minutes drive from Inverness

and a great base to have for dolphin watching holidays. North Kessock and Chanonry Point are the two nearest land watching sites for

watching our amazing bottlenose dolphins. You can also watch buzzards, red kites, roe deer and red squirrels out of the cottage windows! 

Peter & Michelle Jansen offer luxurious accommodation on this elevated Black Isle location.

Just a few minutes drive to Chanonry Point, the best place in the whole of Europe to

see wild bottlenose dolphins only metres from the shore. A lovely, relaxing place and very nice people too!

Set in the stunning Wester Ross location of Gairloch, our great friends Ian and Ann Birks have two cottages to let right at the waters edge.

They have all the comforts you will ever need and when you arrive simply throw your wristwatches away, time does not exist here!

Set at the waters edge in the lovely Black Isle village of North Kessock, Eilean Dhubh studio apartment is owned by Mrs Maggie Macdonald

and is a compact holiday home suitable for two adults, although there is room for two children.

North Kessock is a fantastic location for dolphin watching and other wildlife seen locally include seals, otters and ospreys. No smoking and sorry - no pets.

Douglas and Kay Mitchell have this beautiful large house in the lovely seaside town of Nairn with geat views over the

Moray Firth (good chance of seeing dolphins) and is an ideal setting to base a holiday in the Highlands. Great beaches nearby as well as the Culbin Sands,

a fantastic stretch of intertidal salt marsh, boat trips, local shops and crafts and whisky distilleries nearby - what more do you want?

Ever wanted to live on your own island? Well now you can experience just that - staying in the cottage once owned by Gavin Maxwell

(Author of Ring of Bright Water) on the island Of Eilean Ban, under the Skye Bridge and a great place to spot Otters (naturally!)

Pine Martens, Common and Grey Seals and a host of other species. Contact Rachel at the Brightwater Visitor Centre in Kyleakin to ask about availablity.


Gavin and Araminta Dallmeyer have a lovely house set in 6 acres of land with beautiful views just past Kilmuir near North Kessock. Ideally situated to explore not only the

Black Isle and all that it has to offer but also maked a great base for exploring the rest of the Highlands and Moray. You can really spoil yourself here and have total relaxation.

Araminta, besides running the B&B, assists Lady Claire Macdonald of Macdonald with cookery demonstrations and is a very accomplished creator of memorable meals herself...

you could put on a pound or two here if you are not careful !


Mort and Barbara Mortimer have a beautiful house at Balblair on the Black Isle and will spoil you rotten with their 4 Star Bed & Breakfast, a few minutes walk from the Cromarty Firth

surrounded by the lovely local countryside - ideal for spotting Red Kites and Buzzards soaring overhead,  a variety of waders on the shore and a chance of seeing seals and

possibly dolphins in the Firth or drive out to nearby Cromarty for a boat trip.