Dolphins - Common and Rissso's Dolphins of Dingle Bay
Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins…..everywhere!.........but there are some days when are they are as hard to find as a needle in a haystack...it's a wild world out there!
Unlike Fungi, the world famous bottlenose Dingle dolphin, we cannot guarantee to show you dolphins every day but on some days we are lucky to encounter some of Fungi’s country cousins around the Blaskets and we are also often accompanied by schools of common dolphins bow riding the boat and we are also lucky to have encounters with Risso’s dolphins who usually hang out by Inish na Bró and Tiaracht islands.
Bottle nose dolphin bowriding
rissos dolphins at great blasket island
When people hear of Dingle, [An Daingean], Co. Kerry, they often think of Fungi the famous bottlenose dolphin who has taken up residence voluntarily at the entrance to Dingle Harbour for the last 25 years. We don’t do trips to see Fungi [you go from Dingle pier] but we sometimes encounter visiting bottlenose dolphins in Ventry, Dingle Bay and around the Blaskets. They are the most acrobatic of dolphins and love to put on a show and interact with people and boats, before going off about their own business. We subscribe to a code of practice when in company with whales, dolphins or basking shark but Bottlenose dolphins nearly always break the rules themselves. Maybe they know something we don’t!
The population of Risso's dolphin around the Irish coast is relatively small but every year there are numerous trips on which we encounter this -for us- very special dolpohin. Risso's are light grey to almost pure white in colour and grow to about 3.8 metres in length. Their distinctive markings and notches taken out of their dorsal fins fins make them good candidates for photo identifying individual animals. We always attempt to get some photos for that purpose and encourage our passengers to help us in that effort. We encounter Risso's most frequently around the remoter Blasket islands of Inisnabró and Tiaraght.
Common dolphins are probably our 'favourite' dolphins and the ones most frequently encountered on our trips. They are our second smallest cetacean at about 2 metres and love to power ride alongside the boat and also to bow ride.
Watch out for a 'bird cloud' of gannets in the distance dropping like snowflakes from the sky into a shoal of sprat or mackerel and there is a good chance that it is common dolphins that are bringing them to the surface.
Sing out and let the skipper and / or guide know that you have seen something jumping in the distance!