Whale of a time promised for keen watchers

The arrival of large numbers of minke whales along Irish inshore waters seems like a good omen for all-Island whale watch day tomorrow.

Whale of a time promised for keen watchers

Taking place on 20 headlands all around the coast, from between 2pm and 5pm, the purpose of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) whale watch day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans — porpoises, dolphins and whales — that have been recorded in our waters.

As well as giving the public a chance to see the mammals in their natural environment, it also provides IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity around the entire coast.

The annual all-island event, organised by the IWDG in association with Inis Cologne is free and open to all.

All whale 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 observed species seen in Irish waters.

People are invited to bring binoculars or a spotting scope and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.

There are no boat trips involved, and there are of course no guarantees that spotters will see whales or dolphins at any particular event.

For further details or all organisers and latest information on sightings, visit the www.iwdg.ie.

The event is part of Heritage Week, coordinated by the Heritage Council and takes place at the following locations:

- Cork:

Ballycotton car park (John Goggin 087-2766801), Galley Head lighthouse (Pádraig Whooley 086-3850568).

- Kerry:

Valentia Island at Bray Head tower (Sean O’Callaghan 085 7764918), Clogher Head lay by (Nick Massett 087-6736341), Brandon Point car park (Louise Overy 085-8173999);

- Clare:

Loop Head, at Lighthouse, Simon Berrow 086-8545450; Black Head, lighthouse, Sabine Springer 091-637621

- Dublin /Wicklow:

Howth Head in Dublin, Balscadden car park (Ronan Hickey 086-3391142), Killiney Bay Vico Road (Isabel Baker 086-4057633) Bray Head pitch & putt, Hannah Keogh 087-2819201

- Wexford/Waterford: Hook Head lighthouse (Jim Hurley 086-1637199), Ardmore, Ram Head Signal tower (Andrew Malcolm 087-7952061).

- West/North West: Downpatrick Head car park Co Mayo; Mullaghmore Head in Sligo, Bloody Foreland in Co Donegal as well as Malin Head signal tower.

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