Sowerby's Beaked Whale strands in Co. Sligo

13th Nov 2006 A Sowerby's Beaked Whale stranded at Inishcrone, Kilalla Bay, Co Sligo on 12th November.


Reported by IWDG member Neil Gilroy, the whale was initially thought to be a Cuviers beaked whale, the most frequently stranded on the family Ziphiiae, but on closer inspection single tooth, measuring 20-30mm in each lower jaw, were found to be towards the middle of the mouth.

This suggested a Sowerbys beaked whale.

Sowerby's Beaked Whale (© Dave Wall)

The stranded whale was visited today (13th Nov.) by Dave Wall and Don Cotton of the IWDG, also present was Neil Gilroy (who had secured the animal to the rocks so that it didn't wash away overnight) as well as James Kilroy and Irene O'Brien from the National Parks & Wildlife Service . Examination of the animal confirmed it to be a male Sowerby's Beaked Whale.

This is only the second record of this species in Co. Sligo (one stranded in August 1990) and the 11th record for Ireland.

The skull of the animal has been removed for preparation and storage in the Natural History Museum in Dublin.