According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Irish fin whales typically arrive off West Cork in Autumn, moving east up the coast to waters off county Waterford and Wexford as the season progresses. The whales are following the vast herring shoals that traditionally spawn at the mouth of Waterford harbour.
This year, however, the whales seem to be making an unexpected move back to the west, with a flurry of reported sightings off the East Cork and West Cork coasts.
“The collective wisdom is that the end of the herring spawning season heralds the end of the ‘large whale season’; predators following prey and all that. The herring shoals would break up, heading out to deeper waters and the whales would follow suite; destination unknown, until they return in a short few months; typically late May, early June,” explained IWDG Sightings Coordinator Padraig Whooley.
“However, this year as we head towards the end of the large whale season there are still fantastic opportunities for people with the patience and optics willing to spend some time on a headland to view these giants in Irish inshore waters.”
Photo Credit: Padraig Whooley, IWDG