Fin whales still off the Irish South coast

15th Feb 2009 Yes, it's late in the season, but there is still whale watching potential off East Cork and Waterford coast.

The big whales have left clearly left West Cork over the past month, but doesn't mean the end of the story for what has been a fantastic large whale season along the Irish South coast. A land-based effort watch by Ann Trimble from Ram Head, Ardmore on Friday 13th revealed over a hundred common dolphins. This is always a good starting point when looking for fin whales. Alas, due to hazy viewing conditions to her west, it was not possible to search towards the east Cork coast.

But the big question was anserwed by IWDG member Tom Power who took wonderful images and secured footage of at least one adult fin whale several miles south of Youghal Lighthouse yesterday 13th Feb. A further report yet to be validated suggest that there is also large whale activity curently off Hook Head area of Co. Wexford. These sightings are entirely in keeping with sighting trends over the past 5 years.

The good news is that there appears to be very settled "high pressure" weather over the next fews days which should give whale enthusiasts an opportunity to observe this activity from land based observation points such as Knockadoon Head, or Ballycotton Co. Cork or Ram Head, Co. Waterford.

IWDG will keep you updated on the full picture as to what's happening around the Irish coast, as you could be forgiven for thinking that the only large whales to be seen in Ireland are off West Cork....which is not the case.

We never planned on fin whales still being present off the Irish South coast, as we prepared to depart for Baja, Mexico. But it does serve to remind us of how fortunate we are that for about half the year we can enjoy some world class whale watching potential at our doorsteps.

For our 14 members joining the IWDG/New Horizons whale watching expedition to Baja, Mexico in two weeks time, we hope you're getting excited about this trip of a lifetime, during which we are planning on encounters ranging from gray whales in the Pacific coast lagoons of San Ignacio, humpbacks off La Paz and blue whales in the Gulf of California off Loreto in Baja California Sur. We are delighted to be able to offer our overseas whale watching experience to our members, and we're already talking about our next overseas holiday, and South Africa is a strong contender.

Thanks to Tom Power, David Molloy and Ann Trimple & Andrew Malcolm for keeping us informed on this recent activity.

Pádraig Whooley, IWDG