National Whale Watching event on Sunday 18th August

Minke whale lunging beneath a group of gannets

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, dolphins and porpoises) that have been recorded around the Irish coast, and to get some expert tips and advice on how, when and where to watch some of the more common species. With a bit of luck you may even catch a glimpse of some of them first-hand. The event is free and open to all, and you’ll find full details of locations and local IWDG contacts in the table below.

“All watches are land-based and will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly seen cetacean species in Irish waters.  You should bring binoculars or spotting scopes and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.”

DWW GroupAs a land based event Whale Watch Ireland doesn’t involve boat trips — and highlights just how close some of the worlds most fascinating and iconic marine mammal species come to our coastline. Last year cetaceans were spotted from 10 of the 16 sites taking part — so while there are no guarantees, there’s a reasonable chance of picking up some cetacean activity if you attend one of the watches.

It’s also a great “excuse” to get out to an Irish headland in late summer. Headlands typically offer stunning views, and attract a whole host of wildlife, from seabirds to seals, lizards to butterflies and much more.

So head out to a headland near you this Sunday, and look out for some of Ireland’s Amazing wildlife — and don’t forget to let us know what you saw in the comments below or over on our Ireland’s Wildlife page on Facebook.

Location ContactMeeting PointWatch LeaderContact
Howth Hd., Co. DublinBalscadden Car ParkBrian Glanville087-1390665
Killiney Bay, Co. DublinVico RoadIsabel Baker086-4057633
Bray Hd., Co. WicklowPitch & puttHannah Keogh087-2819201
Hook Hd, Co. WexfordLighthouseDeirdre Slevin087-1319001
Ardmore, Co. WaterfordRam Hd towerJohn Goggin087-1319001
Galley Hd., Co. CorkLighthousePádraig Whooley086-3850568
Clogher Hd, Co. KerryLaybyNick Massett087-6736341
Brandon Pt. Co. KerryCar ParkLouise Overy085-8173999
Loop Hd., Co. ClareLighthouseSimon Berrow086-8545450
Black Hd, Co. ClareLighthouseSandra O’ Donovan086-6061869
Downpatrick Hd, Co. MayoCar ParkCaroline Tuffy086-8937072
Mullaghmore Hd, Co. SligoLaybyFiona Wheeldon087-9542145
Malin Head, Co. DonegalSignal TowerEmmett Johnston087-2867055
Ramore Hd, Co. AntrimPortrush Coastal ZoneAlison Archer0751-8263648
Portmuck, Co. AntrimCar parkIan Enlander028-93372724
Bloody Bridge, Co. DownCar parkDavid Williams028-90455784
About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success

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