Promoting Porpoise at Portmuck

3rd Sep 2011 Just in from a doing an effort watch at my local patch, Portmuck, Co. Antrim. This is consistently a great spot for cetacean activity with the majority of sightings being of Harbour Porpoise. This afternoon conditions were perfect, calm sea, no swell and a gentle even light with no glare.

From the start of the watch it was clear that there were excellent numbers of Porpoise present with groups actively feeding right around the area. With an estimated 30 animals present, including some 3 - 4 calves, this was a great show. Yes, even Harbour Porpoise can be exciting to watch. Numbers seem to be consistently high at the moment at what is probably Northern Irelands most reliable spot for this species.

In additon to the usual 'rolling' surfacing, behaviours included lunge feeding, with the animals almost breaching clear of the water, paired surfacing with a calf and adult (presumably the mother) matching their swimming perfectly synchronised and also logging.

Seabirds were also very active with feeding groups of Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Sandwich Tern and Razorbill and Shag everywhere. Bonus sightings included Red-throated Diver and Great Skua.

Why not visit Portmuck while these calm conditons hold to see our smallest (and commonest) cetacean for yourself. And dont forget to report your sighting to IWDG through the online facility at www.iwdg.ie

Ian Enlander