Harbour Porpoise

A very compact species with a rounded head, diagnostic small, triangular dorsal fin situated mid-way along the back and short paddle-like flippers. The upper side is dark grey which blends into a lighter shade along both sides while the underside is white. A dark grey line links the mouth line to the flippers.

Generally appears shy and avoids other species and boats. The surfacing sequence is usually extremely brief even when swimming slowly. Breaching occasionally takes place but this species appears most active when feeding as it circles quickly in pursuit of prey.

Harbour porpoises can be seen easily in any inshore waters, especially in calm sea conditions. They are particularly abundant between Howth Head and Dalkey off Co. Dublin where boat based surveys conducted by IWDG produced the highest counts anywhere in Ireland.

CREDIT: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

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Blenny

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Blennies are tiny sea animals with long bodies that live in shallow water along the sea-shore. Some species are very colourful, while others are duller in colour and may have a few spots or stripes so they can blend into their habitat. This makes it more difficult for predators to see them.

If the waves coming in from the sea are very strong, they can hide underneath rocks to protect themselves. Blennies have teeth that grow in their lips and these help them to scrape algae from rocks so they can eat it. They also love small animals and plants in the water, known as plankton.

Blennies are great fun to watch as they move through the shallow waters during times when waves are crashing on the shore. Instead of using the fins on their bellies to swim about in the water, they form them into a sucker to keep themselves attached to the rocks and stop themselves being swept away.

Credit: Ask About Ireland