Dolphins on the East coast..UPDATE

4th Jun 2010 Report II: 4/06/10

Several IWDG members wen't on a bit of a merry goose chase yesterday afternoon in a search for the Wicklow dolphins, but their efforts drew a blank on the waters between Kilcoole and Wicklow Head.

But further sightings of six dolphin sp. by Ian Mannix between Bullock Harbour and the 40ft yesterday afternoon at 18:00 suggest that they may have headed back north towards Dublin. Either way, there is plenty of evidence that dolphins are still in the area, and it will be interesting to see how many sightings there are over the bank holiday weekend.

Further up the Irish Sea there was more activity as local observers, IWDG members and NIEA personnel had some lovely bottlenose dolphin encounters of a pod oc 15-20 animals between Larne and Glenarm, Co. Antrim. Images of these were secured by Ian Enlander.

It's great to see sightings of this Annex II species appearing at several locations on the Irish Sea on the same day. In the mean time, please don't forget that the first fin whale sightings of 2009 were made within a few miles of Howth Head, so if the weather obliges this area has the potential to produce some very interest cetacean sightings in early June.

Watch this space!

Report I: 3/06/10

This series of sightings is likely to have began on Sun 31st May with yet another report from John Smyth, harbour master, Ardglass, Co. Down, who reported a pod of bottlenose dolphins. Their species was confirmed by images forwarded to IWDG.

The following day, Jun 1st we received several reports of more dolphins from both sides of Dublin Bay(Ireland's Eye and Bray). Again, the group size, descriptions and behaviours all leaned towards their being bottlenose dolphins. But no images were obtained.

This morning 3rd June, we've received multiple reports of a very large group of 30-40 dolphins moving south from Bray Head, North Beach, Greystones harbour and down towards Ballygannon Point on the Kilcoole side of the South beach. Although reported as Risso's dolphins, the descriptions would again lean more heavily towards their being bottlenose dolphins.

IWDG would really appreciate any useful images of these dolphins which might help us confirm their species, and be used for photo ID matching. Previous tracking by IWDG sighting scheme of these highly mobile mammals shows a somewhat regular southward movement along the Irish Sea between Antrim, Down, Louth, Dublin and Wicklow coasts.

We'll endeavour to keep you informed. But best bet this afternoon may to be head for somewhere like Wicklow Head area.

Pádraig Whooley

Sightings Co-ordinator

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