HBIRL90 "Barnacle Bill", surface feeding off seven heads, West Cork

HBIRL90 “Barnacle Bill” surface feeding off Seven Heads, West Cork June 8th 2020             © Christopher O’Sullivan

We are delighted to announce that we have added another new individual to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s humpback whale catalogue. HBIRL98 which our guide Christopher O’Sullivan photographed on Monday is a new individual for Irish waters. This was one of three humpback whales we identified during a terrific week of whale watching.

HBIRL98, South of Courtmacsherry, June 8th, 2020

HBIRL98, South of Courtmacsherry, June 8th, 2020 © Christopher O’Sullivan

What’s even more exciting the is that during a trip on Monday, June 8th we also saw the return of an old friend. In 2018 Cork photographer Joleen Cronin photographed “Barnacle Bill” fully breaching south of Inchydoney on the West Cork Coast. Back then this was also a new individual for Irish waters. On that occasion the whale refused to tail fluke. This made identification difficult. Yesterday HBIRL90 was similarly stubborn. However Christopher did manage to get the all important fluke shot on the one occasion it did tail fluke.

HBIRL90 "Barnacle Bill", off Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8th, 2020

HBIRL90 “Barnacle Bill”, off Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8th, 2020 ©Christopher O’Sullivan

HBIRL90 Photographed by Joleen Cronin on an Atalntic Whale and Wildlife Tours trip in West Cork in July 2018

HBIRL90 Photographed by Joleen Cronin on an Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Tours trip in West Cork in July 2018.


The third animal we recorded was HBIRL43. This animal has previously been recorded in Irish water but it was the first time Atlantic Whale and Wildlife Tours had the pleasure of recording this individual with its very distinctive tail fluke.
As always we would like to thank the IWDG for helping us to ID these humpback whales.

HBIRL43, Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8th, 2020

HBIRL43, Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8th, 2020 © Christopher O’Sullivan

HBIRL 43, Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8h 2020

HBIRL43, Seven Heads, West Cork, June 8h 2020 © Christopher O’Sullivan

During the week we also recorded huge numbers of minke whales, 600 plus common dolphins, a pod of Risso’s dolphin and a basking shark. The whale watching off the West Cork coast remains world class.