A popular exhibit at Macduff Marine Aquarium, highlighting the lives of seabirds at Scotland’s only mainland gannet colony, has received some welcome support from a local energy development trust.

Tarlair Community Benefits, an active arm of the Royal Tarlair Golf Club, along with their partners Muirden Energy, recently approached Macduff Marine Aquarium management with a cheque for £1000 to support the aquarium’s work of promoting Moray Firth marine wildlife.

The money has been put towards upgrading camera equipment that has been beaming live images of the gannets at Troup Head into the aquarium each summer for the last 10 years.

Aquarium manager, Claire Matthews, said: “Our gannet cam project has been running since 2007 and has been really popular with our visitors, allowing us to watch the amazing seabird city at Troup Head. The camera sits at the top of the cliff but we’re able to move it using controls at the aquarium and view fantastic images of the gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes and other seabirds as they go about their daily business throughout the summer breeding season.

“Being sited in such an exposed spot, the camera equipment has suffered over the last few years and needed some attention. We have also modified the exhibit at the aquarium so that visitors can work the camera themselves and enjoy zooming in and focussing on the live gannet action using joystick controls. We’re very grateful to the Tarlair Community Benefits and Muirden Energy for their generous support and hope that many visitors will gain an understanding and appreciation of these fantastic seabirds through interacting with this exhibit.”

Alan Still, Chair of Tarlair Community Benefits, said, “Since Tarlair is situated between Troup Head and the aquarium, we liked the idea of enabling the aquarium to continue showcasing this very special local wildlife site. We’re happy that the long running project will receive a new lease of life as a result of our donation.”

The gannet cam is powered by solar and wind energy and will be in place until September when the gannet chicks have fledged and the seabirds are all away back to winter at sea.