Mega Fauna of Lough Foyle

‘Blue seas cover seven-tenths of the earth’s surface,
And they are the domain of the largest brain ever created,
With a fifty million year old smile.’
So says Heathcote William’s in his epic poem, ‘Whale Nation’.

On Inis Eoghain we are blessed to be surrounded by waters in which these wise and beautiful creatures can be found.

They are not alone though, being in the company of a fantastic array of other marine wildlife.

Basking sharks, Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke Whales, Sunfish, Grey Seals are just some of the really big animals that visit the waters of Lough Foyle and Inishowen.

Minke Whale at Inishowen Head

Minke Whale at Inishowen Head

It will be the mega fauna such as these that will be the main focus of a forth-coming event organised by Celebrate Water.

Providing a great opportunity to find out more about these and other intriguing creatures, the full day of activities will take place on Saturday July 11th in the Irish Coast Guard Station in Greencastle, Co. Donegal.

Whales and Dolphins

Entitled “Marine Mega Fauna of Lough Foyle”, the event kicks off at 9.30am with training on how to watch and record cetaceans (that’s whales and dolphins) from Inishowen Head. Celebrate Water are hoping to set up what is known as a ‘Constant Effort Watch Scheme’ .

This is a system that is used all over Ireland to track cetacean activity in Irish Waters. Information gathered by volunteer participants in the ‘Constant Watch Effort ‘is sent to ‘The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG)’ based in Co. Clare.

The IWDG then collate the data sent in by observers and use this to monitor the activity of cetaceans.

This helps the organisation in their conservation work and in their work with other agencies and industry promoting best practice in the marine.

Inishowen Head Observers

The training to establish a group of observers for Inishowen Head is free of charge and will be delivered by experienced sea watcher and wildlife ranger Emmett Johnston of the Basking Shark Study Group.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the watch scheme should check out the Celebrate Water website or Facebook page for more details.

Please note that advance booking for this training is essential

Fun Activities at Coastguard Station

Then in the afternoon a whole range of other fun activities for all ages will take place at the Coastguard Station between 2pm and 5pm.

This will include slideshows and short talks on marine wildlife. Science activities for those budding marine biologists!

Art activities facilitated by artist and weaver Brendan Farren during which Brendan will help the children to create marine themed art pieces.

There will be a telling and sharing of salty tales to help stimulate the imagination and sense of wonder.

Excursions from Greencastle Harbour

And that’s not all!

For those wishing to get a little bit closer to our marine neighbours, a passenger boat will carry people on excursions from Greencastle Harbour to Inishowen Head at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

Each of the boat trips will have wildlife guides on board to answer questions and point out any interesting species that might jump up in front of us!

The trips will be suitable for families and for all ages.

Funded by Loughs Agency

The boat trips, like all other activities on the day, are free of charge. A great opportunity for fun, learning and becoming supporters for our mega fauna friends!

This event is funded by the Loughs Agency under the SDF 2015.

For more information please contact Rose Kelly 074 9382028 or check out the Celebrate Water Facebook page or website