Fin whales in Dingle Bay
Fin whale off Inisvickalaun, Photo by Conor Ryan
Last Tuesday, August 9th, we set out early in the morning in order to try and locate the humpback whales that had been observed from land a few days prior. As we had no definite coordinates for their whereabouts that morning a few of our group went spotting with telescopes and binoculars from the great vantage point of Inishvickalaun, with the kind permission of the island's owner, Conor Haughey. Soon enough we observed some 'blows', first a bushy one - the typical humpback blow - and then a long, straight blow - a fin whale! While the group on our boat, the Blasket Princess, was unable to get close to the humpback whale that morning, they were able to follow the fin whale blows and get close enough to the animal in order to obtain some photo identification and also retrieve a skin sample that was floating in the water nearby. Apart from observing the fin whale, they were also treated to a great display of about ten Minke whales and countless common dolphins joining the feeding frenzy in the waters off Inisvickalaun. Since that fantastic morning, the weather has not been quite settled enough to strike north of the islands again but we are hoping to return to the place of all the action again as soon as the weather allows. In the meantime we will continue our usual search for common dolphins and minke whales a bit closer to the mainland.
While out looking for the whales we also spotted a rare Pomarine skua and a couple of sooty shearwater together with hundreds of Manx shearwaters everywhere!