Superb whale watching off Ardmore, Waterford

24th Jan 2005 Whale watchers have in recent weeks been treated to world class whale watching off Ram Head, Ardmore, Co. Waterford, as fin whales and common dolphins return, mid-winter, to the area.

This activity has been recorded fairly regularly since November by IWDG members Andrew Malcolm and Ann Trimble off Ram Head (at the tip of Ardmore, by the castle)

On Fri. 21st Andrew and IWDG Sec., Pádraig Whooley observed at least three fin whales about 8-10 miles S, SSW of Ram Head. Dolphins were also observed on this watch.

The IWDG committee met for the weekend at Hook Head, Wexford and several watches from Hook lighthouse produced harbour porpoises. The whales that were seen here before Christmas close to Baginbun Head, seem to be absent. We'd like to thank both Mark Colfer and Ann Walsh, for facilitating the IWDG Whale talk at the lighthouse on Friday night and for their support over the weekend.

On Sun. 23rd the IWDG committee took a detour to Ardmore, Co. Waterford, before returning to the four corners of the country. This was a good move. All present were treated to stunning fin whale activity, as between 5-6 whales were seen blowing and surfacing off Ram Head. Common dolphins and harbour porpoises were also present throughout.

This winter activity in the area between Ardmore and the Hook, has now been documented by IWDG over the past few years and seems to be associated with the inshore herring activity.

The weather w/c 23rd Jan is looking very good for whale watching, so our best advice is to get out to a headland in the next few days. Our 2nd tip would be to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, although the whale's 20ft blow was visible with the naked eye yesterday. Our 3rd tip is to focus your scanning in the area where the "fishing effort" is greatest. The herring boats and fin whales are often in close proximity.

Please report any cetacean sightings to IWDG on

Pádraig Whooley