Whale Watch Ireland 2013...Results

21st Aug 2013

Key Results of Whale Watch Ireland 2013


Whale Watchers at Loop Head, Co. Clare

We present the main results for this years all-Island Whale Watch day on Sunday 18th August.  A huge thanks to Inis, Cologne for their funding support for this years event, and to the 16 watch leaders for volunteering your time and passion for whales and dolphins.


  • Overall, cetaceans seen at  9 of 16 sites= 56%                             
  • Cetaceans seen at 7 of 9 sites (77%) with Fair-Excellent viewing conditions                           IWDG chatting to public at Galley Head © Calvin Jones
  • Cetacean species (3): harbour porpoise, common dolphin & minke whale                                 
  • Zero species at 7 sites, 1 species at 8 sites, 3 species at 1 site                                      
  • Other species: Grey & common seals and Ocean sunfish                                               
  • No. animals : hbr. porpoise x 48, common dolphin x 21, minke whale x1                               
  • Attendance: 1,200 (30% increase on previous year) 


            Down to business, Galley Head Whale Watch 18th Aug. © Calvin Jones











Watch location




Cetaceans seen




Howth Head, Dublin


HP x15                                             


Killiney Bay, Dublin


HP x8


Bray Head, Wicklow




Hook Head, Wexford




Ardmore Hd, Waterford




Galley Head, Cork


HP x2, CD x15-20, MW x 1-2


Clogher Head, Kerry


HP x3-4


Brandon Point, Kerry


HP x2, Ocean sunfish x3


Loop Head, Clare




Black Head, Clare


HP x2


Downpatrick Hd, Mayo


CD x6


Mullaghmore Hd, Sligo




Malin Head, Donegal




Ramore Head, Antrim




Portmuck, Antrim


HP x12


Bloody Bridge, Down


HP x4







Some of the whale watchers at Galley Hd,  © Calvin Jones









Count down to tomorrow's Whale Watch Day, Sunday 18th August 2:00-5:00pm

If you'd like to attend tomorrow's whale watch event and have any questions please phone your local watch leader at details below. Best to avoid texting, as it may not be possible for us to reply to large volumes of SMS in the next 24 hrs due to the event's popularity.  Most questions seem as always to want to know how to book and what time the boats are leaving at.  Please note there is no need to book and there are no boats involved, as these are land-based watches.  Just turn up with your binoculars and sense of humour, and of course plaase dress for field conditions, especially if there are likely to be showers or windy conditions prevailing at events in the northwest of the country.

We've just noticed that the Heritage Council website shows the 2nd Kerry event to be at Kerry Head, but this has been changed to Brandon Point, Co. Kerry.  We hope you can join us tomorrow and that you enjoy the watch.  Remember, at last year's watch 60% of sites recorded sightings. So it's very much a case of...."if you're not in, you can't win".  The very best of luck.



Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18th August

This Sunday 18th August is All-Ireland Whale Watch Day, when members of the public are invited to join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at headlands around the Irish coast between 2:00pm -5:00 pm for a free, guided, land-based whale watch.

The purpose of whale watch day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that have been recorded around the Irish coast, by giving members of the public an opportunity to observe some of these wonderful marine mammals in their natural environment.  It is also a great opportunity to meet IWDG personnel and discuss whales and dolphins, whale-watching, whale science and cetacean conservation issues.  This event also provides IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity around the Irish coast on the day, which in itself is a very valuable exercise.

Poster with map of local watch sites, Full details listed belowDuring our "Whale Watch Ireland 2012" event, cetaceans were recorded at 10 of 16 sites (63%) around the country.  So while there are no guarantees that you will see whales or dolphins at your local event, this is still a wonderful opportunity to visit a stunning location with a reasonable chance of viewing some of Ireland's most dynamic wildlife.  


This annual, all-island event, organized by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group in association with Inis Cologne is free and open to all. All watches are land-based and will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly seen cetacean species in Irish waters.  You should bring binoculars or spotting scopes and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.  Please note there are no boat trips involved and you do not need to make a booking.   Please contact your local organizer for further details (see below). The very latest validated information on whale and dolphin sightings and strandings in Irish waters can be found on www.iwdg.ie

We recommend that you keep an eye on the weather forecast over the weekend, if you are planning on travelling a significant distance to your site, as the success of your local watch will very much depend on the weather on the day.  So fingers crossed for reasonable whale watching weather (light winds, clear skies and good visibility). Minke whale feeding West Cork 10th Aug 2013, © Pádraig Whooley, IWDG

Whale Watch Ireland, will once again be part of Heritage Week, co-ordinated by the Heritage Council www.heritagecouncil.ie and all local whale watches are listed on their publications and website

Any media enquiries to:

Pádraig Whooley, IWDG, Phone: 086- 3850568 or email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie


Full event details below:


Location                       Meeting Point              Watch Leader           Contact

Howth Hd., Co. Dublin,         Balscadden Car Park,             Brian Glanville            087-1390665

Killiney Bay, Co. Dublin,       Vico Road,                                 Isabel Baker                086-4057633

Bray Hd., Co. Wicklow,          Pitch & putt,                              Hannah Keogh            087-2819201

Hook Hd, Co. Wexford,         Lighthouse                                Deirdre Slevin             087-1319001

Ardmore, Co. Waterford,       Ram Hd tower,                        John Goggin               087-2766801

Galley Hd., Co. Cork,             Lighthouse,                              Pádraig Whooley        086-3850568

Clogher Hd, Co. Kerry            Layby                                      Nick Massett           087-6736341

Brandon Pt. Co. Kerry            Car Park                                   Louise Overy              085-8173999

Loop Hd., Co. Clare,              Lighthouse,                             Simon Berrow             086-8545450

Black Hd, Co. Clare,             Lighthouse,                               Sandra O’ Donovan    086-6061869

Downpatrick Hd, Co. Mayo, Car Park,                                   Caroline Tuffy            086-8937072

Mullaghmore Hd, Co. Sligo,   lay-by,                                     Fiona Wheeldon          087-9542145

Malin Head, Co. Donegal,      Signal Tower,                       Emmett Johnston        087-2867055

Ramore Hd, Co. Antrim,        Portrush Coastal Zone         Alison Archer              7518263648

Portmuck, Co. Antrim,           Car park,                               Ian Enlander               028-93372724

Bloody Bridge, Co. Down,    Car park,                                 David Williams           028-90455784


Inis, Cologne, IWDG supporters

IWDG extend a huge thanks to Inis, Cologne in Wicklow for both their generous core-funding support and sponsorship of Whale Watch day each year.  See www.perfume.ie  

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