Fin whales now dispersed along Waterford coast....UPDATE

28th Nov 2011 Report II, 28th Nov 2011

Despite unsuitable weather for much of the weekend, at least 3 fin whales were still reported from Bunmahon, Co. Waterford on Sun 27th Nov. Sighting courtesy of Declan Clarke. There is little doubt that Waterford remains your best chance of viewing these whales from land.

Report I, 23rd Nov 2011

On just one day, yesterday Tues 22nd Nov. IWDG received eight sighting reports of whales, most of which have been validated as fin whales. For anyone interested in viewing the planet's second largest animal, clearly Co. Waterford is still the place to be.

This is not of course to say that large whales are not to be found off any other coastal county as Nick Massett had another humpback sighting on 16th Nov off Slea Head area, Co. Kerry and on 21st Nov. Jamie Hayes observed 4-5 large whales that were likely to be fin whales just 1 mile of Ballycroneen Bay, near Power Head in East Cork.



But the main flow of sightings points to the Deise county with sightings along along a 20 mile stretch of coastline between Stradbally to Brownstown Head on the east side of Tramore Bay. Almost all of these sightings are close inshore and people are picking up the blows with relative ease from shore with just binoculars.

IWDG really appreciate any sighting reports of these whales as it is the best way for IWDG to monitor their movements over the coming large whale season, which is likely to extend into February 2012. With so many inshore sightings of what in some cases will be the same animals seen and reported by multiple observers, this potentially gives us a wealth of information. Your sightings can be reported online on www.iwdg.ie. Multiple sightings of what are likely to be the same animals will be merged to give a composite sighting, thus avoiding duplications appearing on our database.

Footage secured by BBC Autumnwatch two weeks ago while filming fin whales off West Waterford can be viewed on the IWDG Facebook page. If only the weather was as obliging in the weeks ahead.

Pádraig Whooley

Sightings Co-ordinator