As with any wildlife watching venture, whales and dolphins can be unpredictable. We don’t offer any gimmicks such as money back guarantees, in the rare event of our having no sightings. That said, Colin’s unrivalled experience significantly increases your chance of encountering a range of cetacean species on your trip, which typically produce whale and/or dolphin sightings on about >98% of our trips (see breakdown below). Grey seals are seen on every trip on the inshore islands, as well as an array of seabirds and fantastic coastal scenery, so there is always something wonderful and new to see. Colin often produces fishing rods if things are quiet and give clients an opportunity to catch their own supper.
2019 Species and sightings summary, based on a sample of 145 trips
- Cetacean sightings on 99% of trips of at least one species (98.5% in 2018)
- Dolphins were recorded on 95.1% of trips (95.3% in 2018), almost all were common dolphins.
- Whales (at least 1 species) were recorded on 83.4% of trips in 2019 (91% in 2018)
- Large whales (fin and/or humpbacks) were seen on 49.6% of trips during 2019, compared with 50.7% in 2018, with breakdown: fin whale 31.7%, humpback whale on 25.5%
- Minke whales were recorded on 71.7% of our trips during 2019 (84% in 2018)
- >1 whale species were recorded on 40% of trips during 2019 (49.2% in 2018)
- The following 8 cetacean species were recorded in 2019:
harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena, short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis, Risso’s dolphin Grampus griseus, bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata, humpback whale Megaptera novaeanlgliae, fin whale Balaenoptera physalus & killer whale Orcinus orca.
In summary, wildlife watching is a bit of a lottery, and whale watching is no different. The biggest influence on what you’ll see on any trip is the weather on the day, and how keen an observer you are. Yes, you also play a part in our trip sightings! So based on our experience, we’d say with confidence that a fine weather day during low season, will produce better sightings than a poor weather day in high season. But rest assured, if there are whales around, there is no whale watch skipper in Ireland with the experience and reputation that Colin Barnes has for finding them.
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