Wildlife always has the capacity to surprise and delight us. No matter how long you've been watching and studying wildlife, how familiar you are with your local patch, you never can tell what you might encounter on an outing. The potential for the unexpected is always there... whether it's a completely new species, or a familiar bird or animal exhibiting some unusual behaviour, … [Read more...] about Purple Heron: an epic end to our spring Discover Wildlife Weekend
Whale Watching in Ireland
Ireland is one of the best whale watching destinations in Europe. With 24 species recorded in Irish waters, and regular encounters with minke whales, fin whales and the charismatic humpback whale both from shore and on whale watching trips off Ireland's south coast, it's little wonder that more and more people are discovering the delights of whale watching in Ireland.
On a trip with West Cork based whale watching operator Cork Whale Watch last week, drone pilot and Ocean Research & Conservation Ireland (ORCIreland) Observer Greg Coleman captured some astonishing aerial footage of a gigantic Fin Whale lunge feeding through bait balls created by Short-beaked Common Dolphins (see the ORCIreland YouTube clip … [Read more...] about Lunge-feeding Fin Whale caught on camera by drone
Whales and dolphins are an exciting part of Ireland's wildlife. As an island nation perched on the edge of the north east Atlantic we have some of the best whalewatching in Europe right on our doorstep. This in depth feature will help you spot whales and dolphins around the Irish coast, from shore and when you're out on the water.Ireland -- one of Europe's … [Read more...] about How to watch whales and dolphins
On Sunday 23 August, as part of Heritage Week 2015, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is hosting its annual shore-based all-Ireland whale-watching event, Whale Watch Ireland.Taking place at 20 land-based vantage points around the coast of the Island of Ireland, the event aims to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans that occur in Irish waters. It also provides … [Read more...] about Whale Watch Ireland 2015
Young humpback whales guzzle some 45kg of their mother's milk every single day -- that's an astonishing 80 pints or so of the nutrient rich cocktail. That fun whale factoid comes from an Instagram post by the BBC Earth team promoting the upcoming "Big Blue Live" due to air on BBC later this month live from the fantastic marine sanctuary of California's Monterrey … [Read more...] about Baby humpbacks suckle up to 80 pints of their mother’s milk every day
In this guest post marine biology student Sean O'Callaghan, a keen cetacean enthusiast and admin of the popular Kerry's Wild Side page on Facebook, explores some of the benefits of visiting a dead whale.Visiting a dead whale may appear on the surface to be a morbid proposition, but there are many positives that outweigh the obvious concern; that being a large … [Read more...] about Why you should visit a dead whale
I'd been afraid to look at the forecast all week.The weather is the bane of anyone organising an outdoor-based activity in Ireland, and the last few weeks had been dreadful. There was no real sense things were going to improve either... but with a Discover Wildlife Weekend planned I simply had to bite the bullet and check.I fired up two different weather apps on the … [Read more...] about Whales and eagles star on wild West Cork weekend
Like it or not... when you're watching wildlife in Ireland you're inevitably watching the weather.With our Discover Wildlife Weekend looming I'd spent the last week watching the weather forecasts with growing trepidation. Would the weather gremlins play ball? West Cork is a truly spectacular wildlife location, but so much depends on what the weather decides to do on the day. … [Read more...] about A wonderfully wild weekend
As part of National Heritage Week 2013 the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is hosting its annual shore-based whale watching event, Whale Watch Ireland 2013. The event takes place on Sunday 18 August 2013 between 2pm and 5pm at 16 headlands around the Irish coast (see details below).It's a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the 24 species of cetacean (whales, … [Read more...] about National Whale Watching event on Sunday 18th August
I've been lucky enough to do quite a lot of whale watching in my time -- in some of the world's iconic whale watching hotspots. But last weekend West Cork, off the south coast of Ireland, reminded me once again that I live in a place that, on its day, can rival the best whale watching anywhere in the world.I'd heard through the grapevine that there was some … [Read more...] about Minke whale extravaganza: amazing whale watching in West Cork!
Ireland's 2013/14 "Large Whale Season" got off to a flying start last week with a brand new entry to Ireland's humpback whale catalogue.Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) member and keen whale watcher Nick Massett observed and photographed the whale -- the 23rd humpback recorded in Irish waters, and now dubbed HBIRL23 -- off Clogher Head and Sybil Head, Co. Kerry on the … [Read more...] about New humpback whale recorded in Irish waters
In true "lastminute.com" style, the IWDG is offering Ireland's Wildlife readers a special one-off discount of €10 off the normal €90 course fee for this weekend's Summer Whale Watching Course on Cape Clear Island off the West Cork coast.Hey... that's MORE THAN 10% OFF!The course offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the whales, dolphins and porpoise around … [Read more...] about Special Deal on Whale Watching Weekend
Whale watching in West Cork is in the news again after this incredible shot made the front page of several national newspapers today.A humpback breaching off the West Cork Coast (c) Simon Duggan, All Rights ReservedIt is a once-in-a-lifetime moment captured by whale watcher and long time Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) member Simon Duggan. The boat in the … [Read more...] about West Cork Whale Watching: Front Page News
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has highlighted the world class whale watching opportunities at several sites along the Irish south coast at the moment, with significant large whale activity reported from Co. Kerry east to Co. Waterford.The nucleus of this activity is currently centred off the coast of West Cork, where fin, minke and humpback whales are being … [Read more...] about World Class Whale Watching off the West Cork Coast
Places are still available on the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s summer whale-watching course on Cape Clear, 20-22 July 2012. I had the great pleasure of attending the course in May… and while conditions dictated that cetacean pickings were a tad slim over that weekend, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience. If you’d like to learn more about the whales and … [Read more...] about IWDG whale watching course: places still available
It was a glorious morning on Toe Head in West Cork. The sun was shining, and the April breeze, while still a bit keen, wasn’t at all uncomfortable. At my feet was a stunning vista spanning from Galley Head to the east all the way around to the Fastnet Rock to the West. But I wasn’t here to admire the view... not this morning... this morning I was on a mission.I scoured the … [Read more...] about West Cork humpback adventure
It’s that time of year again, and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has officially announced the date of its annual All-Ireland land-based whale watching event. Whale Watch Ireland will take place on Sunday the 21 August this year between 2pm and 5pm at headlands right around Ireland. It’s a fantastic event, and a great way to get acquainted with some of the fabulous … [Read more...] about Whale Watch Ireland 2011 – Sunday 21 August at a headland near you!
Reports of large whales continue to make wildlife headlines around Ireland. A sizeable influx of fin whales off the coast of West Cork, four different humpback whales of Slea Head in County Kerry, and a rare sighting of a humpback whale near Lambay Island off north Dublin means that large whale season is well under way around our coasts. There are also reports this week of a … [Read more...] about Large whales continue to dominate wildlife headlines
“This is a research charter, not a pleasure cruise,” cautioned Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) sightings coordinator, Padraig Whooley as we boarded the boat. “We’re not stopping for anything under forty tonnes!”As the Holly Jo slipped out of Reen Pier the anticipation on board was palpable. IWDG researchers were joined on board by a National Parks and Wildlife Service … [Read more...] about Whales, dolphins, sharks and more off West Cork