Fin whales photographed from air 25/05/2015

25th May 2015

Fin whales off Cork coast 25/05/2015  © Irish Air CorpIWDG received a strong set of images taken by Tomas Kelly, of Bond Air Services Ireland, on 25th May 2015, during a routine Kinsale Energy, crew changeover helicopter flight to the offshore Kinsale Gas Fields, Co. Cork. The sighting was of about  7-8 large whales and the series of images confirm these to be fin whales, the planet's second largest animal. Most of the images show clearly the white lower jaw on the right side which is diagnostic for fin whales. While thiese are not the first fin whale records of the 2015 large whale season, they are our first images and the largest group size, which confirm their presence now along the Cork and Kerry coast.  IWDG have had recent fin whale sighting records off both Valentia Island Co. Kerry and the Beara Peninsula in Cork.

We'd ask any observers fortunate enough to see large whales with a powerful blow or that tail-fluke (humback whale) to report any sightings online on www.iwdg.ie for validation. Big thanks to Tomas Kelly, Bond Air Services Ireland and their client Kinsale Energy for forwarding these images and giving IWDG permission  to publish them here. It's great to confirm the annual return of fin whales along the Irish South coast.

Padraig Whooley, IWDG Sightings Officer