Another Humpback whale..

24th Jul 2008 Despite the poor weather conditions, 2008 is looking like it may well turn out to be a good year for humpback whale sightings in Irish waters. Already this year we have received and validated four sightings of this "endangered" species in Irish waters. This may not sound like many, but it's four more than we received for the same period in 2007. During 2007 we only received six confirmed reports of humpbacks in Irish waters.

There have been two humpback sightings this week alone. One from Rick Harte who reported a single humpback whale on passage through West Cork on Tuesday heading West towards Roaringwater Bay. Unforunately no images were obtained of this individual. But the latest sighting is hot off the press and again comes from Lt. Ronan Mc Laughlin of the L.E. Aisling on Thursday 24th July who observed and photographed a solitary, adult humpback c42 miles WSW of Slyne Head, Co. Galway at 10:30 (see photo) .

The poor conditions and the whale's behaviour made photography difficult, as it did not "tail-fluke". So it is hard to know if this is one of the seven known humpback whales listed on the Irish Humpback whale catalogue. (click on link)

http://www.iwdg.ie/iscope/sightings/photoID.asp?species=2103

So we leave for Cape Clear Island today for the 2nd IWDG Whale Watching weekend course, with a reasonable weather forecast and a sense of expectation that we might have some memorable whale sightings. Interesting times for Irish whale watchers. Here's hoping August sees an improvement in the weather.

Pádraig Whooley

IWDG Sightings Co-ordinator