Likely fin whales in Blasket Sound, Kerry.

12th Sep 2005 On Sat 10th Sept, Dave Wall, IWDG, alerted local observers that he had observed what he was 90% confident was a fin whale feeding in the Blasket Sound. This sighting was made during an IWDG survey on the RV Celtic Explorer.

Several whale watchers headed out to Slea Hd and have confirmed Dave's observation, with sightings of at least two very large baleen whales, which we are confident are neither minke or humpback whales. The whales were still in the area on Sun. 11th Sept south of the shrine on Slea Head, but may require a spotting scope for better observation.

Local whale watcher, Nick Masset is confident that these two whales were also seen feeding during a whale watch he carried out on Fri 9th. The whales which appear to be lunge feeding on the surface are attracting huge numbers of gannets and seabirds.

If anybody manages to get out close to these whales, it would be most useful if within photograph range to try to photograph their heads from the right hand side, as fin whales have a diagnostic white lower right jaw, and this will confirm that they are indeed fin whales. IWDG would be very interested in viewing any images obtained of these whales.

This is a very interesting development, as Co. Kerry has thus far not featured at all in this big news story which has captivated whale watchers in West Cork and Waterford now for several years. This goes to show the benefits of having a strong network of dedicated observers who regularly watch from known whale watching locations.

Please keep us informed

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