Beached Minke Whale on The Mullet

Friday last was a beautiful day up on The Mullet peninsula. I went to Caisleaán strand on the western side to spot some Barnacle Geese. What I actually found were 9 Brent plus the small matter of a beached Minke Whale.

Some farmers told me the whale had been there several days and if you compare the pictures below with those I took of another beached Minke at Enniscrone last September, here, which was less than 24 hours on the beach at the time, you can see the difference in skin discolouration. Also, both the jaw area and dorsal fin of the Caisleán whale had been buried in the sand by the time I got there.

I estimated the whale at around 9 metres long.

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World Tourism Day 2009

Sunday September 27 is World Tourism Day.

I hope to be passing it on a boat off Kerry on a whale watching trip. Check out www.iwdg.ie if you are ever interested in going out to see what dolphins and whales you might find off Ireland’s west coast. The best season is just now – late Sept and early Oct, as the migrating whales pass Ireland.

This year’s World Tourism Day theme is “Celebrating Diversity”. The diversity of marine life is what I hope to celebrate.

‘Kerry’ and ‘diversity’ also bring to mind the continuing efforts to re-introduce White Tailed Sea Eagles back into Ireland. What a wonderful and beautiful project. I think, to date, over 30 birds have been brought from Norway. This re-introduction project is one arm of Ireland’s attempts to enhance and protect native biodiversity, under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention, which dates from 1993, has three objectives :

1. To conserve biological diversity.

2. To use biological diversity in a sustainable manner.

3. To share the benefits of biological diversity fairly and equitably.

Beached Minke Whale at Enniscrone

I took a spin up to Enniscrone this morning to see the unfortunate dead Minke Whale, washed up on the brilliantly named Diamond Valley Beach at Enniscrone.

The whale measures 8.7 m and will remain there until at least this evening and maybe even until tomorrow morning, according to Sligo County Council’s local office.

Minkes are quite common off Ireland’s West coast and are the smallest baleen whale. They have white spots on their flippers and their dorsal fin is quite small and quite far back along the back.