risso's dolphins around the Blasket islands
Two days ago two or three Risso's dolphins were seen just south of the Great Blasket Island. This was the first report of Risso's around here this year. Last year we came across them fairly regularly and had just been wondering when we'd eventually come across them this year when a phone call came in from a friend of ours that he had seen some from his boat. At that stage we were already steaming home from our Eco Marine Tour, having spent a wonderful time with dozens of common dolphins around the island of Inisvickalaun but today we will be heading over to where the Risso's were sighted with the hope of catching a glimpse of them ourselves. Risso's dolphins are fairly shy animals and don't actively engage with the boat, unlike the common dolphins which are happy and willing to follow the boat for a while, jumping and bow-riding alongside us. Still, they are a beautiful sight as they gracefully and slowly cut through the water, their long dorsal fins sometimes being mistaken for those of the orca. Risso's dolphins are light grey in appearance, with some of them nearly white due to scratches on the body as a result from encounters with orca.
The humpbacks havn't made an appearance for a few days now, but we are still hopeful to encounter them again and are always on the lookout for a 'blow' in the distance!
The puffins were still around two days ago but every day that we see them now is a bonus as they are preparing to return to the middle of the Atlantic for the winter, having finished their breeding season for this year.