Stormy weather produces lots of blubber!

17th Jan 2005 In the past week alone, beaches along storm lashed Cork have seen some very rare whale species.

On 6th Jan, near Ballydonegan Beach, Allihies, the Beara, a Cuvier's Beaked whale dead stranded. IWDG managed to remove the skull and lower jaw with the help of Duchas Conservation ranger, Clare Heardman and local IWDG members, Patrick Lyne and Paullina Kauppila.

On 17th Jan a large 14M/45FT whale which washed up at Long Strand, Castlefreke, Nr. Clonakilty, Co. Cork has been positively identified by IWDG as an adult male, Sperm whale. Skin samples have been taken for analysis and pictures are available on the strandings section of this website. A big thanks to local IWDG member, Rachel Wolsenholme for reporting this whale.

So you may not be able to enjoy cliff top or boat based whale-watching in this awful run of weather, but there is still plenty of interest to see along the more exposed beaches at this time of year.

That said, hardy whale watchers, Andrew Malcolm & Ann Trimble from Co. Waterford have enjoyed some great whale watching in the last few weeks from Ram Head, Ardmore. A number of their "Effort watches" have produced sightings of common dolphins, fin whales and a few contenders that were most likely to be humpback whales.

Please contact IWDG if you happen upon a dead (or living) cetacean on your local beach. The IWDG rely on local information to help us establish which species occur around our coast.

Padraig Whooley

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