The Coast Guard was recently called out to what many suspected to be a beached whale at Ainsdale. Some people also thought that the unidentified dead animal was a porpoise.
However, the unfortunate sea creature turned out to be a Risso’s Dolphin.
Dr Peter GH Evans, Director of the Sea Watch Foundation, stated…
“They are fairly uncommon but regularly come into the northern Irish Sea around North Wales in the late summer and autumn (August - November) and can also be seen frequently off the Isle of Man (usually in summer but there was a sighting also last December). They feed upon small squid, cuttlefish and octopus.”
Thanks to Dr Evans for this expert clarification.
Dissimilar to many other dolphins, Risso’s dolphins lack a beak, and the rounded head rises nearly vertically from the upper jaw and blunted snout. They are also known as the grey dolphin or grey grampus. Because of their fondness for deep, oceanic waters this species is not that well studied.
See also, Risso’s dolphins in North Wales