Five risso's dolphins close to Blasket Islands
Risso's dolphin near Great Blasket island, photo by Nick Massett
Five Risso's dolphins, four adults and one juvenile, have been observed for the last two days close to the Blasket Islands. A crew member on our Eco Marine Tour aboard the 'Blasket Princess' first spotted the tall dorsal fins of the dolphins close to the Blasket Island of Inisnabró. As the boat drew closer the animals' distinctive pale grey bodies and blunt heads became clearly visible in the calm and clear conditions of the water.
It is always very exciting encountering these rather shy dolphins around the islands as the Blaskets are one of the few places in Ireland where Risso's dolphins have been fairly regularly recorded.
Apart from just enjoying their presence, we are also very keen on getting photo identification of them, helping us to identify individual animals and learn more about their behaviour and movements and possible breeding areas. With that task in view, Nick Massett joined us the next day and was able to take some good id photographs when the Eco Tour boat had a re-sighting of the dolphins close to Great Blasket island on August 17th. You can find some of the id shots that have been taken around Ireland on the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group website ( www.iwdg.ie). Have a look there at what kind of photographs are needed, ie good close up shots of the dorsal fins and scratches on fins and bodies and come out with us in order to try and get some yourselves! We are also always very happy to include our passengers' photos in our wildlife log articles, so do forward them if you think you got a good photograph from one of our trips.