Whale Watch Ireland 2009 Results

25th Aug 2009 The IWDG delivered the 8th All-Ireland, Whale Watch Day, on Sun 23rd August 2009 with free guided land-based whale watches at 15 watch sites around the coast.

To say the weather on the day was unsuitable for whale watching would be putting it mildly. Moderate to poor conditions prevailed at all sites except for Bray Head, Co. Wicklow. So bad were the conditions at Galley Head, Co. Cork that we had to take the unprecedented step of cancelling this watch.

That said we still managed some fine sightings during the afternoon at the other 14 sites. Here is a summary of sightings, all sightings are now live on www.iwdg.ie:

The watch, at Garranes Dzogchen Beara Ctr. produced sightings of 20-30 common dolphins, while the Slea head, Co. Kerry watch enjoyed sightings of c5 Hbr. porpoise. Vying for 1st place this year will be Loop Head, Co. Clare where participants were treated to 3 seperate sightings of bottlenose dolphins, totaling 25 animals. In terms of species diversity, 1st place goes to Dunree, Lough Swilly, Donegal as this watch produced both common dolphins (3) and Hbr. porpoise (8-10). Both the east coast sites did well, with Howth Hd. Dublin finding hbr .porpoise (6), while the 90 strong crowd at Bray Head, Co. Wicklow had 2 hbr. porpoises.

In Summary:

Cetaceans seen at 6 of 14 sites= 40% (compares with 46% in 2008)

3 Cetacean species seen: Harbour porpoise, Bottlenose dolphin and common dolphins

2 cetacean species seen at 1 of 14 sites

75 individual animals seen: Common dolphin x 28, Harbour porpoise x 22, Bottlenose dolphin x 25

No's Attending: c800 (Approx.1,500 in 2008)

IWDG wish to extend a huge thank you to David Cox of Inis Cologne/Fragrances of Ireland in Wicklow for their continued and generous support for Whale Watch Ireland each year. Not only did Inis sponsor this event but also provided t-shirts and product samples for watch leaders to make available to the public on the day.

We'd also express our gratitude to the 15 watch leaders who gave up their time and energy to lead the following local watches: Brian Glanville (Howth), Dinah Boyne (Bray), Mac (Hook Hd), Andrew Malcolm (Ardmore), Patrick Lyne (Beara), Mick O' Connell (Valentia), Nick Massett (Slea Hd), Sophie Hansen (Loop Hd), Sabine Springer (Black Head), Machiel Oudejans (Downpatrick Hd), Fiona Farrell (Mullaghmore), Dermot Mc Loughlin (Lough Swilly), Jim Allen (Magheracross) and Ian Enlander (Larne). ...You are the unsung heros of Whale Watch Ireland.....thank you.

Pádraig Whooley

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