IWDG report on last weekend's East Coast events8th Mar 2011 Whale Watch, Bray Head, Co. Wicklow by Debbi Pedreschi
"..... Sunday's Whale Watch attracted a smaller group than our last watch at Howth Head in October. We ended up with a dedicated group of 6 people, from two families. The low numbers meant its was easy to manage the group, and we all enjoyed ourselves.
After an introduction into the IWDG's work, aims and objectives, I described to them the most common species seen in Irish waters, with a focus on species we may see in the Irish Sea and a run down of species seen in the Bray area according to the sightings database where records go back as far as 1994. We ran through how to whale watch, optics, how to make a sightings report, and how to record environmental data, and we watched for about 2 hours from two different vantage points.
Although our only mammal sighting was of courageous swimmers braving the freezing waters, the discussion remained lively, and all were very interested and enthusiastic. Weather-wise the day started off foggy and dull, but the sun came out to take the chill out of the air and warming our backs! The sea also behaved itself with almost no swell, and a low 3 for a sea state."
Well done to those hardy specimens for turning up to support this local event. Events such as these are likely to become more frequent in the future, as it is important to encourage local land-based effort watches on all coasts, and not just on the better documented watch sites along the South and Southwest coast. IWDG would like to sincerely thank Debbi Pedeschi for taking the time out of her busy schedule to deliver these recent east coast events. We hope her enthusiasm will encourage others to volunteer to lead addional local watches aimed at members and the general public.
CFT Dive Ireland Show by Gerry Healy
While further north this years CFT (Irish Underwater Council) Dive Show took place between 4-6 March in the City North Hotel, Gormanstown, Co Meath and IWDG member Gerry Healy reports.......
"The show went well with lots of interest. The killer whale skull sent up from Kilrush certainly drew attention to the IWDG stand. Photo below shows IWDG members: Ivan "Blue Whale" O'Kelly, Gerry Healy and Simon Bradley who attended the stand."
Again, a big thanks to Gerry Healy for offering to man this stand. Without his support IWDG would have had no presence at this important event.
....Before you ask, it should be pointed out that the "Blue whale" insertion into Ivan's name refers to the fact that he is one of a tiny handful of people fortunate enough to have seen and photographed a blue whale in Irish waters in the last century. (Image below).