independent

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Whale watch in Curracloe

DAILY 'HUMPBACK PATROL' AT CURRACLOE

CONOR CULLEN

CURRACLOE has got a very special visitor this week with the arrival of a humpback whale to the famous beach.

It is just the 14th humpback whale recorded in Irish waters during the past 13 years by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), but the second in less than a week off Co Wexford, following the arrival of another humpback off Hook Head last week.

Deirdre Slevin, of the IWDG, said that 'HBIRL13' - or Hookie, as he was nicknamed - is definitely not alone off Wexford coast with the arrival of his colleague (HBIRL14) at Curracloe, some 45 miles away.

The visitor to Curracloe - where people gathered on the beach with binoculars yesterday to try and spot him - also has the distinction of being the first validated winter record of a humpback whale in the Irish Sea.

The humpback was first spotted by fishermen on Monday and this initial sighting was confirmed from the beach itself on Monday afternoon, when the whale was spotted about two miles out towards the Blackwater Bank Buoy.

There were an estimated 10,000 gulls associated with the huge whale off Curracloe, which the IWDG consider 'exceptional'. The group got an up close and personal look at the whale yesterday (Tuesday) when they travelled out on the Rebecca C, skippered by Martin Colfer.

Ms Slevin said the whale was very close to shore at the north of the beach, in water of about just seven to ten metres in depth and only three quarters of a mile from the coast. 'He seems to have been in the area for a few days,' she said, adding that he is most likely following the herring.

She said he has 'a very distinctive fin' and has been confirmed as very different from the humpback off Hook Head at the moment. The Curracloe whale also has teeth mark from what the IWDG believe is a bite by a killer whale.

'This is the 14th humpback whale the IWDG has recorded in Irish waters in 13 years and we've had two off Co Wexford now in a week - it's amazing,' said Ms Slevin.

The Rebecca C will be going out on whale watching missions from Duncannon and Dunmore today (Wednesday) and in the coming days. If you'd like to go along call Martin Colfer on (087) 2657177. CURRACLOE has got a very special visitor this week with the arrival of a humpback whale to the famous beach.

It is just the 14th humpback whale recorded in Irish waters during the past 13 years by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), but the second in less than a week off Co Wexford, following the arrival of another humpback off Hook Head last week.

Deirdre Slevin, of the IWDG, said that 'HBIRL13' - or Hookie, as he was nicknamed - is definitely not alone off Wexford coast with the arrival of his colleague (HBIRL14) at Curracloe, some 45 miles away.

The visitor to Curracloe - where people gathered on the beach with binoculars yesterday to try and spot him - also has the distinction of being the first validated winter record of a humpback whale in the Irish Sea.

The humpback was first spotted by fishermen on Monday and this initial sighting was confirmed from the beach itself on Monday afternoon, when the whale was spotted about two miles out towards the Blackwater Bank Buoy.

There were an estimated 10,000 gulls associated with the huge whale off Curracloe, which the IWDG consider 'exceptional'. The group got an up close and personal look at the whale yesterday (Tuesday) when they travelled out on the Rebecca C, skippered by Martin Colfer.

Ms Slevin said the whale was very close to shore at the north of the beach, in water of about just seven to ten metres in depth and only three quarters of a mile from the coast. 'He seems to have been in the area for a few days,' she said, adding that he is most likely following the herring.

She said he has 'a very distinctive fin' and has been confirmed as very different from the humpback off Hook Head at the moment. The Curracloe whale also has teeth mark from what the IWDG believe is a bite by a killer whale.

'This is the 14th humpback whale the IWDG has recorded in Irish waters in 13 years and we've had two off Co Wexford now in a week - it's amazing,' said Ms Slevin.

The Rebecca C will be going out on whale watching missions from Duncannon and Dunmore today (Wednesday) and in the coming days. If you'd like to go along call Martin Colfer on (087) 2657177.

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