A SPECTACULAR photo of dolphins at play in Largs Bay has been captured by a local fisherman.

The photo has been a star attraction since being shared on local social media pages such as Largs Yacht Haven and Largs People, and has gained 500 likes already on Ian Wightman's own Facebook page after he took the stunning photo on Tuesday afternoon from his vessel Eilidh Anne.

Ian told the News that he has been delighted with the response he has had so far to the photograph, and it is pleasing to see dolphins regularly visiting the bay.

He said: "They were playing beside us all day from top of Cumbrae up to about Knock Castle."

The Nature Scot website says: "Common dolphins tend to be summer visitors to Scotland, and are mainly recorded here between May and October, when food is most abundant.

"They can sometimes be seen in large schools and are highly acrobatic, often leaping clear of the water."

The South West Scotland Environmental Information Centre states that two dolphin species can be seen occasionally in the Firth of Clyde.

The common dolphin, at two metres long, has a distinct light-coloured hourglass pattern on the flanks and dark upper body.

This species also has a dark triangle below the dorsal fin and a pronounced beak. If seen from a boat, the dolphin often breaches and bow rides as the boat moves along.

The bottlenose dolphin is a large dolphin up to four metres long with a robust head and a distinct short beak.

This species has a uniform dark brown or grey back with a tall, centrally placed dorsal fin, which is usually sickle shaped.

The bottlenose dolphin often breaches and bow rides, but it is not as agile as its smaller relative.