Humpback whale wows onlookers at Inchydoney

Inchydoney beach, near Clonakilty in West Cork, is one of the undisputed jewels along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. This outstanding blue flag beach draws visitors from far and wide, but earlier this week it was a visitor of a different kind that was getting all the attention. The sandy bottom in the bay off Inchydoney is […]

New humpback whale off Irish south coast

A new humpback whale for Irish waters has been added to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) photo-id catalogue for the species. West Cork whale watching operator Colin Barnes of Cork Whale Watch found the lone humpback during an afternoon whale watching trip out of Reen Pier near Union Hall.  According to the company’s Facebook fan page whale […]

A wonderfully wild 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 […]

Minke whale extravaganza: amazing whale watching in West Cork!

  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 […]

West Cork fin whales as they should be seen

  After the traumatic events and harrowing images of the  last few days I thought I’d post a few photographs of  healthy fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) off the West Cork coast. This is how they look at their best:  

West Cork humpback adventure

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 […]

Whales, dolphins, sharks and more off West Cork

“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 […]

Whale watching in West Cork

An account of my first ever encounter with fin and humpback whales off the coast of West Cork, Ireland in November 2004, This article appeared in the UK magazine The Countryman [CJ] A giant head broke the surface and a plume of spray erupted seven metres into the air. The head was followed by the […]

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