Whale Watching off West Cork

West Cork Seascape

Heading out to sea from Reen Pier, Union Hall, West Cork, on Nic Slocum’s Whale Watch West Cork vessel in November 2007.

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A Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus), second largest creature ever to have lived on earth, feeding off the West Cork coast. An aggregation of seabirds over a patch of water is one sign that cetaceans could be feeding in the area.

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The birds on these trips are almost as entertaining as the whales….

On this trip we saw about eight or nine fin whales, a couple of minke whales and a large school of common dolphins. Humpbacks are also regular visitors to West Cork over the winter – you’ll find more info and photos on whalewatching in West Cork on this article on my main website, originally published in the UK magazine, The Countryman.

Whalewatching trips are also operated by Colin Barnes – also out of Reen Pier, Union Hall – you’ll find details at Whales Dolphins Ireland.

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Poplar Hawk Moth (Laothoe populi) photograph

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Poplar Hawk Moth (Laothoe populi) photographed at the Biodiversity Day event at Manch Estate. (© 2008 Calvin Jones)

I’d just been listening to wildlife photographer Mike Brown giving a talk about how taking a different view can often make a very striking image of a relatively common subject — something I always try to do in my own photography. I think in this image I’ve managed to do that.

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Here’s a more conventional view of the same animal — beautiful… no matter which way you look at it.

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