Displaying items by tag: Boomerang
Minke whale numbers between Union Hall and Galley Head have been “exceptional” since last week, says Whooley — who also notes that a pod of humpbacks familiar to West Kerry coastal residents has been feeding off Cork over the past fortnight, while the whale known as Boomerang has been spotted off Waterford.
Elsewhere, the Air Corps Maritime Squadron recently captured some astonishing images of sharks feeding on a whale carcass some 200km northwest of Donegal.
“It's not often that we get sent such clear images of a dead cetacean being scavenged on by several sharks,” said IWDG standings officer Mick O'Connell, “but it does give an indication of the importance of dead animals in the food chain.”
Last spotted almost exactly a year ago off the south coast at the Cork-Waterford border, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the humpback formally known as HBIRL3 has been spotted by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Andrew Malcolm in recent days in the same location.
But this time he wasn't alone, as another humpback – HBIRL6, a female who last visited Waterford in 2008, and was previously seen with a juvenile off Co Kerry – was keeping him good company. The irish Times has more on the story HERE.
In other cetacean news, the large whale carcass that washed up on Portstewart Strand earlier this month is believed to have died of natural causes.
Originally confirmed as the remains of an adult female sei whale, the 43-foot behemoth has now been identified as a fin whale, most likely a juvenile, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.
Though the cause of death is "inconclusive", it is thought that due to its peeling skin, thin blubber layer and reduced muscle mass, the whale was already dead for days and decomposing before it washed up on the North Coast beach on 4 October.
Fin whales are the second largest mammal in the world's oceans behind only the blue whale.
This marked the first sighting of the distinctively marked male humpback since November 2012, and the ninth year he's been spotted since he was first recorded in August 2001.
The Boomerang sighting was just the tip of the iceberg on an eventful day for cetacean spotting on the annual Celtic Sea Herring Acoustic Survey, which included nine fin whales in various groups seen in close proximity.
The IWDG has much more on the story HERE.