Late evening sunshine under the iconic Forth Rail Bridge. Picture by Nigel Duncan Media on board The Maid of the Forth

It’s 7pm on a sparkling, sunlit Sunday night and we’re on a birdwatch cruise on the Forth.

Suddenly a green buoy appears and the on-board RSPB expert said: “There are seals basking in the last rays of sun.”

The entire cruise party rushed to starboard and there they were. Four huge seals snoozing. Cameras clicked and video buttons were pushed.

Later, we saw another seal colony off another island but there was so much more to this three-hour cruise than that.

The expert live commentary from RSPB experts pointed out a puffins, guillemots, razorbills and gannets.

Kittiwakes, cormorants, shags and eider ducks also featured during the cruise on the Maid of the Forth from South Queensferry.

Whether you are a wildlife novice or an expert, this trip offers something, particularly on a beautiful night.

Typical of the Forth, the weather turned quickly but the rich wildlife of the river between Edinburgh and the Kingdom of Fife proved enthralling thanks to the expert staff who were so approachable.

Sadly, some birdlife species are suffering, but not the seals. They are there in numbers to delight cruisers.

The next cruise is on 2 July 2017 (6pm) and booking is now available here.