Large baleen whales in West Cork..See daily UPDATES!

15th Aug 2007 Report VII: 16th Aug

Another 4-5 fin whales observed this afternoon this time further west of Galley than in previous days, in the area c5 miles south of Glandore. "Scar" once again seen among them. .


Report VI: 15th Aug

Colin Barnes has just reported a minimum of four Fin whales, comprising two groups of two in the same area about 4 miles South of Galley Head, and can confirm that one of them is FWIRL 2 "Scar". There were no sightings yesterday 14/08/07 which no doubt reflected the awful weather conditons. These Fin whales have now been observed consistently in these inshore waters over a 10 day period. Fin whale surfacing West Cork 13/08/07 © Padraig Whooley, IWDG


Report V: 13th Aug

The whale watching potential remains world class in West Cork at the moment. An effort watch this morning from Galley Head produced several Hbr. porpoise, several groups of 15-25 common dolphins, a minimum of 2-3 fin whales and to top it all a pod of c6-7 bottlenose dolphins in the surf at nearby Red Strand (although these were "off-effort!) . That's four cetacean species.

Fin whale West Cork 13/08/07 © Padraig Whooley, IWDG

We can confirm that one of the fin whales is #FWIRL2, "Scar", so named by a large pale scar on his left flank forward of the dorsal fin, which was most likely caused by a collision with a boat. Our last confirmed sighting of him was this winter off the Youghal/Ardmore area on 29th Jan 2007. This is our 6th re-sighting of this individual since IWDG commenced the Fin whale photo ID catalogue.

Combining all fin whale encounters today 13/08/07 from land-based effort watches off Galley Head, and from both Colin Barnes on MV Holly Jo and Nic Slocum from MV Voyager, we are confident that our minimum number of fin whales presently in the area is six.

Fin whale

Thanks to those of you who who have forwarded useful photo ID images of these fin whales and indeed all cetacean species to IWDG. Your images, and reported sightings, which can be reported online, are providing us with data that will play a crucial role in conservation of Ireland's cetaceans and the habitats they live in.

Fin whale showing diagnostic Lr. white right jaw 13/08/07 © Padraig Whooley, IWDG

Report IV: 12th Aug. 14:00

The Fin whales remain in the waters a few miles South of Galley Head. This morning they were initially observed by whale watchers on Whale Watch West Cork's MV Voyager c3-4 miles SW of Galley Head. Scoping them from the lighthouse, it was clear that there was a minimum of three whales, possibly four. This is now the 6th consecutive day that fin whales have been recorded in the area, and is a great opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to observe among the largest creatures on the planet from either land or boat.


Report III: 11th Aug. 10:05

IWDG member Colin Barton, Long Strand has just observed and reported what are most likely to be the same two fin whales which were sighted yesterday just 3-4 miles offshore while sea watching from Galley Head lighthouse, West Cork. Around 13:00 another IWDG member Daniel Lettice from Cork observed 2-3 fin whales from the same area. Fin whale West Cork 10/08/07 © Sean Reidy

We have received wonderful fin whale photo-ID images from Sean Reidy yesterday, two of which we show below, which he took from the MV Holly Jo on the morning trip with Colin Barnes. These will need to be analysed to see if they are new animals or