More and more killer whales are being spotted in Irish waters these days… with many of the recent sightings identifiable as members of a well known pod of whales known as the Scottish West Coast Community Group.
(Photo via the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group website, © John Dennihy)
Two of these whales were spotted from Colin Barnes’s whale watching vessel The Holly Joe not far from Galley Head, West Cork on 27th March 2010… (identity confirmed by Andy Foote from the University of Aberdeen), with a larger group of 4-5 killer whales spotted a little further west (close to Baltimore) later the same day.
Interestingly these sightings coincided with the first West Cork basking shark sightings of the season… leading Padraig Whooley, the IWDG sightings coordinator, to wonder whether the simultaneous arrival of the ocean’s apex predator and the huge but docile basking shark in Irish waters was somehow related.
Could basking shark be on the killer whale’s menu, or were they arriving together purely by chance?
There’s more information on these whale sightings on the IWDG website, and you can see details of all recent reported killer whale sightings around Ireland here.