SPECULATION that turtles had made a rare appearance to feed on a Moray beach has been dismissed by marine experts.
It turns out that common grey seals, and not leatherback turtles, were responsible for mystery tracks in the sand on Lossiemouth’s East beach.
Three sets of tracks were spotted by Elgin couple Lee and Kate Sansum as they enjoyed a seaside walk.
Each consisted of a long drag trail between the sea and the sand dunes, with flipper marks on each side.
The couple contacted staff at the Macduff Marine Aquarium, who said that although turtle sightings on the Moray Firth coast are quite rare, both leatherback and green turtles have been spotted in the area before.
However, images of the tracks recorded by ‘Northern Scot’ photographer Eric Cormack were sent to Grampian Police wildlife crime officers, who sent them to Scottish Natural Heritage – who in turn verified that they were made by seals and not turtles.