Risso's dolphins return to Wicklow Coast

17th May 2004 Just a quick note to let you know that this time last year, May 22nd to be exact Charlie Kavanagh of Sail Southeast was the 1st person to report a pod of Risso's dolphins just outside Greystones Harbour and I'm sure you'll recall that a group of upwards of 15 Risso's were observed over the next two months moving between Bray and Wicklow Head.

Well as if on queue, Risso's dolphins re-appeared Yesterday May 16th as a pod of seven dolphins were reported by members of Greystones Sailing Club on Sunday afternoon, and by the description there was little doubting that these were Risso's dolphins.

Charlie Kavanagh was again on hand to confirm that they were indeed Risso's and local birders tipped off by IWDG observed them breaching within 30m of Wicklow Hd. lighthouse last night.

Not believing in coincidence, there is at least a good chance that these are the same Risso's moving inshore, and of course this is a wonderful opportunity to see this species at close quarters.

Last year they remained in the area through June and well into July, with sightings being concentrated in the Bray Hd., Greystones Hbr.-South Beach and down to Wicklow Head area. Keep watching the website for updates of who is seeing them where and when and please report any sightings you make of them on the IWDG website.

It is only by you reporting your sightings that we can monitor them and try to get a better understanding of what conditions might be attracting them to the same area at the same time each year.

Padraig Whooley