Bottlenose dolphins return to South Dublin Jan 2016....update

18th Jan 2016

Report 18th Jan 2016......

We've had no further sighting updates in almost 2 weeks now of the South Dublin group of 3 bottlenose dolphins. But a sighting received today from well know Dublin birder and sea kayaker Sean Pierce may well suggest that the trio have moved north and are in the Carlingford Lough area. On Jan 16th at 14:00 he observed 3 adult bottlenose dolphins surface on 3 occasions before diving close to their kayak about 500 mt north of Blockhouse Island. Not sure if we should treat this as a Co. Louth or Down sighting record, but there is a good chance that this is the same group that were recorded over a week period in Scotsman's Bay/Killiney area. We'll keep you posted.


Report 7th Jan 2016

Many of you will remember the semi-resident group of 3 bottlenose dolphins, comprising 2 adults and a sub-adult, that were observed over a 3 year period from summer 2010 to Aug 2012, in the area between Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin and Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. During their stay between 12/08/2010-19/08/2012, they were observed and reported to IWDG on 184 days, and so we were able to monitor this group by encouraging you, the public and IWDG members, to report your observations to us online. 

Pair of 3 bottlenose 6th Jan 2016 in Scotsman's Bay, Dublin, © Carl MogensenTheir last reported sighting on 19th Aug 2012 left a lot of people wondering where they could have gone, or indeed why?  We didn't have to wait too long, as some weeks later, two of the group were photo identified in Ventry, Co. Kerry. They certainly do cover a lot of ground when traveling. Even while firmly using this core area of South Dublin, they thought little of travelling well outside this territory and were recorded as far south as north Wexford and on one occasion 2 of the group BNDIRL 180 & 182 were photographed off Kilkeel, Co. Down.

Well, we may have an interesting update on this story as since the 2nd Jan 2016, we’ve been getting reports from the public of dolphins in the same area of Scotsman’s Bay, Bullock Hbr. and Killiney Bay. While it was clear that these were not of the regularly seen and smaller harbour porpoise, images received today (see pic) from Carl Mogensen taken from Dun Laoghaire pier on 6th Jan confirm they are indeed bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. 

It is too early to say whether this is a return of the same group, although their group size and location suggests this is likely to be the case.  So for all you cetacean enthusiasts on the east coast, this is hopefully a good opportunity to get out to Dun Laoghaire Pier, Sandycove, Vico Road or Bray Head area with optics and camera to see if you can locate, photograph and of course report them to IWDG on

If it’s a while since you’ve reported a sighting to us, you’ll notice that our new website has very new looking sighting (and stranding) reporting forms. While they essentially ask the same questions, the appearance is very different and it has a really nice feature, in that you can now interface on the form with Google maps, and by simply dragging the red marker to where you saw the animal(s), the system will auto generate a lat/long position. Please use this feature, as it will result in more accurate dots on maps, as we’re not left second guessing where we feel you may have seen your animals. Let us know if you encounter any issues when reporting your sightings.

We hope to be able to keep you updated on if and when we have any further news on these Dublin bottlenose dolphins....what a nice start to 2016.

Pádraig Whooley

Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
Sightings Officer

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