Humpback whales cause a stir in Baltimore Harbour

Friday 30 November 2012 15.13
Humpback whales feeding off Balitmore Harbour in west Cork
Humpback whales feeding off Balitmore Harbour in west Cork

RTÉ’s Southern Correspondent Paschal Sheehy spent a morning watching Humpback whales feeding in Baltimore Harbour in west Cork.

Five humpback whales are creating a stir as they feed on shoals of sprat and herring off Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

Humpback whales are regular winter visitors to Irish waters, but the Irish Whale and Dolphin group says it is unusual to see this number in the one place.

A school of common dolphins is the first sign that the herring and sprat - this morning's breakfast - are close by and, if they are, the humpbacks are probably here too.

Then, just after 9am, our first two humpbacks of the day - and they're hungry!

The whales are bubble feeding - a sight rarely captured in Irish waters.

Padraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is watching on board the nearby Holly Joe.

Photographer Youen Jacob's pictures have alerted the public to the presence of the humpbacks.

It may be November, but the visitors are already beginning to arrive here.

The tourist season has just kicked off in Baltimore.