Whalewatch Ireland 2004 Results

9th Aug 2004 Galley Head, Co. Cork


We had a huge crowd during the event. At 14:30 when I gave the introduction talk c220 people were counted, but conservative estimates are that we had at least 300 at the peak of the watch. I think we can say it was a most successful day.

From the start we had quite good views of 4-5 fin whales as they blew some five miles south of Galley Head. We knew they were in the area in advance as Whale watch operator; Colin Barnes was out with them. From 4:00 pm onwards everyone of the 200 remaining group got to see them very well, as Colin was at no stage more than 100M off the whales. This made it possible for us to show them to even the most novice watchers, as we had a line of scopes focused on the area.

As the event drew to a close everybody was treated to a pod of 4-6 Risso's dolphins, which approached from a distance to within 10 meters of the cliff edge. At this point we still had about 150 people at Galley Head and everyone got to see them at near point blank range.

There was also what we think were 2 bottlenose dolphins in Dirk cove, to our east, these were possibly part of the group of 10-12 that were seen off Galley the previous day. To top it all we had a beautiful sunny day, with calm seas and great visibility. The IWDG showing some 300 members of the public fin whales and Risso's dolphins sends out a very powerful message, and hopefully we've changed a lot of people's attitudes towards the marine environment. We're obviously still buzzing from its success.

Pádraig Whooley


Brandon Head, Co. Kerry

Brandon Point was a much better spot than West Kerry, no traffic jams, easy parking etc. Up to 100 people turned up during the day, and a real interested bunch they were too, including some locals.

I promoted cetacean recording as there are only 11 on the website for Brandon Bay area over 20 years, which amazed local folk as bottlenose are regular visitors here. So hopefully records should increase from here. I had no assistants on the day, so I did no watching at all until after 4:30 but nobody claimed the 'Snickers' for spotting any cetaceans, and the only tally for the day was two sunfish which were seen by a number of people close to the cliffs.

I brought along a few skulls just to prove there are cetaceans around, including the recently dug up beaked whale, which went down very well.

Mick O' Connell


Loop Head, Co. Clare

We had a good crowd of c150 people for the event. During which 6-10 common dolphins and 2 harbour porpoises were observed. It was a pity that the dolphins didn't appear until closer to the end of the watch, as many of the people had left by this time, but they were showing well out of the water.

The weather was a lot better than we'd initially thought and we were blessed with fairly calm conditions. Sunfish were also observed on the day.

Simon Berrow


Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo

We had a crowd of c150 people turn up for this event, which was the 1st year it was held at Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo. In previous years this event in the Northwest was held at Downpatrick and Kilcummin Head, Co. Mayo.

No cetaceans were observed during this watch, but it was still an enjoyable event and people found the info sheets and Inis perfume samples and whale watching maps helpful. A special word of thanks to Tim Roderick, local Duchas Conservation ranger, for his help.

Miriam Crowley


Ramore Head, Co. Antrim

I headed out with Jim Allen to Ramore Head and we had a really good watch with some 30 people attending. We saw four harbour porpoises directly off the tip of Ramore Head, in the tidal stream between 3:00-3:30pm.

The wind was a moderate to strong SE, which made observation difficult enough. Folk were all very positive and I think encouraged to get out there and keep watching. Jim brought IWDG details and whalebone -