Fin whales aplenty in Waterford

20th Oct 2011 The opportunities for whale watching here have been few and far between over the last couple of months so when I woke up yesterday morning to sunshine and light winds I decided to abandon my plans for the day and head to the sea-a luxury choice not afforded to many I know!

The last trip I made to Ram yielded absolutely no sightings-granted the visibility was poor but as the previous 2 expeditions had provided views of both common dolphins and 2 fin whales I had been a bit disappointed. This trip was to prove a little more productive. Within minutes of setting up the scope I caught my first ‘blow' due about 10 miles south of me. This area of the ocean seems to have been particularly attractive to the fin whales over the years but rarely this early in the season, and never in such numbers. It was tricky to make an accurate count of how many were out there but I counted 7 blows in a short sweep across where they were concentrated. Whether it is due to the fact that the sea has never really warmed up this year and the herring have also then started to spawn early I don't know but it was marvellous to have such an aggregation on my patch again-long may they hang around.

If anyone is interested in looking for these animals from the cliff top they will probably need a powerful pair of binoculars at the very least as they were all over 10 miles away-hopefully the weather will improve soon and there will be opportunities to both watch from the cliffs and also get out there to see them close up.

Andrew Malcolm IWDG

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