Mizen Courses


Mysteries of the Mizen Wildlife Courses
– The Whales and Dolphins of West Cork –
8th – 9th April 2017

The Mizen Head Signal Station in collaboration with Whale Watch West Cork have created the Mysteries of the Mizen Whale and Dolphins of West Cork Wildlife Course.

Fin Whales off West Cork

Comprising two days of workshops, discussion, land watches and boat based whale and dolphin watching excursions.  Designed specifically for the wildlife enthusiast wanting to learn more about the key cetacean species encountered off the Irish coast and how to identify them.

READ the Detailed Itinerary for your Mysteries of the Mizen whale and dolphin weekend here on PDF.

Mizen Bridge

Information you will take away from this detailed course:
> How to observe and identify whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) from both land and sea
> How to record cetacean numbers
> Identifying key behavioural characteristics
> Understand the ecology of these unique air breathing marine mammals
> How to prepare for a whale and dolphin watching session at sea
> Where best to watch cetaceans from land
> What equipment you might need for whale and dolphin watching

A complete set of course notes, with information sheets and photographs will be provided along with an identification book covering the key cetaecan species likely to be encountered around the Irish and British coastline.
In house workshops will be conducted at the historic Mizen Head Signal Station Visitor Centre with magnificent views to the iconic Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse. Land based watches will be organised from The Mizen Head and Cape Clear Island. A four to five hour boat based excursion, stopping at historic Cape Clear Island for lunch, will run from the harbour of the picturesque West Cork village of Schull.

Short beaked common dolphins


  • The Mysteries of the Mizen Whale and Dolphin course with Nic Slocum and Brendan Collins of Whale Watch West Cork will run over the weekend of 8th and 9th April 2017.

Sign up today for this amazing weekend of learning, exploration and enjoyment with like-minded people who share your passion for these enigmatic and beautiful marine mammals.

Viewing Point at Mizen Head

What is included:
– All lunches during both days of the course
– All refreshments during tea and coffee breaks whilst at the visitor centre
– Detailed information pack to take away including your own whale and dolphin field guide book
– Five hour boat based whale and dolphin watching excursion
– Guided land based whale and dolphin watching on both The Mizen Head and on Cape Clear Island
– Free admission and guided tour of The Mizen Head Signal Station Experience.

The Early Bird price for this weekend is €295 euro if booked before March 6th 2017. Nomal price is €345 euro. We have negotiated special rates at a range of B&B’s and hotels in the local area. Details will be forwarded on registration for the course.

READ the Detailed Itinerary for your Mysteries of the Mizen whale and dolphin weekend here on PDF.

Who will conduct this exciting weekend of whale and dolphin learning and observation.

Nic Slocum PhD, FRGS
Nic is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Instrumental in putting together one of the most comprehensive codes of conduct for boat based human – whale interactions right down to the species level; Nic has become an established authority on the threats currently faced by this unique group of marine mammals.
A zoologist by training, Nic Slocum has maintained a lifelong passion for the conservation of our wildlife and wild places, has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV. An experienced presenter he is regularly called on to comment on wildlife related issues on Irish national radio.


Brendan Collins

Brendan Collins is a native of West Cork. Helping with his father’s lobster and crab fishing business as a boy on the waters of West Cork, has instilled in Brendan a deep love and understanding of the sea. His enquiring mind and years of detailed observations has led him to develop a wide knowledge and abiding passion for West Cork’s marine wildlife. Brendan is widely acknowledged for his knowledge of the short beaked common dolphin and its unique behaviour. He is currently contributing to a guidebook about the whales and dolphins of West Cork due to be published in 2017.

Dedication to developing  a responsible ethos towards boat based marine wildlife encounters has earned Brendan the acknowledgement and admiration of his customers and colleagues alike. He played a pivotal role in developing a detailed, species specific, code of conduct for boat based whale and dolphin watching; the first of it’s kind in Ireland. Brendan is increasingly accepted as one of the most experienced boat skippers in West Cork and a key member of the Whale Watch West Cork team.

As it enters it’s 13th year of operation Whale Watch West Cork has grown quickly to become one of Ireland’s leading whale and dolphin watching operations. Based in Baltimore, they have won internationally recognised awards from the Responsible Whale Watching Partnership and the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism for their work in promoting responsible and sustainable marine tourism in Ireland.
Important Information:
The Mizen Head Whale and Dolphin weekend has no restrictions, everyone and all ages are welcome. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
All boat tours are subject to suitable weather and sea conditions.

Warm and windproof clothing and stout footwear are a must.

Bring binoculars or telescopes and cameras.

Booking Enquiries
Please call or email Carolyn Daly
Tel: 00 353 86 158 4763
Email: carolyndaly.mizen@gmail.com

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NB. Please remember cetaceans are wild animals and roam freely in the waters off West Cork. They can be
unpredictable and it is possible to go out and not see whales or dolphins. All outdoor activities are subject to
suitable weather conditions.


Short Breaks a Little Out of the Ordinary. Escape into another world on one of our courses.

Goleen, West Cork