A new year of Irish cetacean recording begins... Update

11th Jan 2010 Report V, 09/01/10.

A whale watch trip out around Hook Head, Co. Wexford on Sat 9th Jan answered the question as to which whale species people were seeing in recent days around the Hook area between Baginbun and Dunmore east. On Sat afternoon Paddy Roche and Deirdre Slevin recorded between 3-5 fin whales between 4-6 miles south of Hook Head. Also noted were large numbers of grey seals and some common dolphins, also feeding in the same area. The heavy snowfalls which blocked many roads in the region over the weekend will no doubt keep sightings to a minimum...but there is always next week!

Report IV, 08/01/10.

Sightings today came from opposite ends of the country, with what is likely to be a repeat showing of yesterdays bottlenose dolphins at Ballygally, but a little further up the Antrim coast at Waterfoot. They were observed by David Ledsham and Gary Burrows, NIEA today at 12:45 for an hour. While off the "snowy" southeast, the Hook Head area once again produced large whale sightings of what were probably fin whales, observed by Hook Lighthouse staff. This spell of whale activity certainly merits a boat trip for closer inspection. Thanks to Liam Colfer for passing this sighting on to Deirdre Slevin, IWDG.

Report III, 07/01/10.

In the last 48 hours IWDG have received large whale sightings of mostly fin whales, along 100 miles stretch of the Irish south coast, ranging from Hook Head in Co. Wexford to Castlehaven area of West Cork.

Other hotspots which have produced sightings in the past few days are Baginbun (Hook Peninsula), Dumore East and Ram Head, Co. Waterford and Power head, Roches Pt, Courtmacsherry bay, Co. Cork. The run of sightings likely reflects the superb visibility, as the vapour plumes stand out very clearly in the crystal clear air.

Northern Irish sea watchers had a nice treat today, as a pod of 20-30 bottlenose dolphins spent much of the day close inshore between Glenarm and Ballgalley, east Antrim. Full details of all sightings are logged on this website mapping facility for more detailed interrogation.

Report II, 05/01/10.

Paddy Roche of New Ross reports at least 2 and probably 3 fin whales this afternoon off Baginbun, Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford. This is the furthest east the whales have been recorded this season and is just 15 miles east of Clare Scott's large whale sighting yesterday off Garrarus west of Tramore, Co. Waterford. If they are the same whales, it indicates they may be moving east towards what we believe is their final destination along the Irish South coast, before they move offshore. Watch this space.

Report I, 04/01/10.

The prolonged period of freezing weather has brought us all some unexpected challenges, but one positive side-effect has been calm seas and crystal clear visibility which have brought really good viewing conditions for whale watchers over the holiday period.

On Stephen's day, William and Edward Helps observed a humpback whale feeding just outside Mill Cove, Rosscarbery Bay, while further east off the Coolim Cliffs, Courtmacsherry Bay, Pete Wolsenholme enjoyed more fin whale activity the following day, 27th Dec. Presumably there was a lot more large whale activity in the area, but with freezing roads, access to headlands must have made it difficult for people to get to these access spots. On the 28th, local Kerry watchers Nick Massett and Jill Crosher report a large pod of 30-40 bottlenose dolphins in Ventry harbour; showing once again that West Cork has no monopoly on sightings.

New Years day produced some lovely sightings with Herman Baily actually photographing 2-3 fin whales c5-7km South of Roches Pt. from Power Head, eas