Large baleen whales sighted in Donegal Bay

17th Aug 2006 We were contacted by IWDG committee member Faith Wilson who has just seen a minimum of three large baleen whales blowing in outer Donegal Bay area from St. John's Point.

At c14:00 Faith Wilson and local NPWS Conservation Ranger, Emer Magee initially were watching a minke whale from St. John's Point lighthouse, when Emer picked up a series of distant blows along the horizon, well to the southwest beyond Inismurray.

This is a very interesting record indeed as reports of large baleen whales in northwest inshore waters are not common. Although the whales were likely to be at least 10-15 miles distant, from the observation point at John's Point, both observers were using spotting scopes, and Faith is of the opinion that at least one of these, whose blow appears as quite low and bushy, may be a humpback whale.

A further watch will be conducted later this evening and if there are any more details, we will of course keep you posted. If these whales remain in the area, it is possible that they could be observed with good optics from other land-based biewing points such as Carrigan Head or Malinbeg, Co. Donegal or Mullaghmore or Aughris Head in Co. Sligo.

Please keep us posted should you observe any of this activity.

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