Posts Tagged ‘Whales


Whale Whispering

Just finished the penultimate day of our UK mammal tour. We went whale whispering to the East of the Isle of Staffa. Managed to call up three separate Minkes feeding in what was obviously a food rich area.


Whales, Stone Forests and Waving Tails

I was daydreaming about Australia the other day. I was carried back to a headland, Cape Bridgewater, close to Portland on the south coast of Victoria. We went mainly to look for whales, which we found … well actually Tania found in good numbers; but there was also a petrified forest there too that was worth visiting. As we walked along the sparsely vegetated cliff top this little fella jumped out and started shouting at us. A Striated Fieldwren. He had the amusing habit of waving his tails as he sang. The way he greeted us and appeared to be saying “Hi”made me smile.


Mom and baby

The idea was to take a few days down on the south coast of Victoria around Warrnambool. There’s some interesting birding down there and Southern Right Whale nursery. Yes, you heard that right … a whale nursery.

Each year Southern Right Whales move up from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the calm waters of the south coast of Australia. the males move on but the females stay to give birth and may stop a few months while they raise their calf. One such favoured area is the bay off Warrnambool. The female along with her new calf will move back to Antarctica at the end of the Austral winter.

Whale watching quite rightly is banned from boats in this sensitive area so we had to view from land. It took a while but we eventually saw a female with her calf, albeit distantly. The calf can just be seen in the photo in front of its mother.

We had some good Humpback sightings a little further down the coast at Portland too – they were probably after whitebait and anchovies as were the Bluefin Tuna that were making the water almost boil with activity. Add to that two species of Albatross (Shy and Black Browed) plus a plethora of Australasian Gannet and you have a recipe for hours of endless sea watching.


Humpback Days

It was just not possible to be disappointed given our experiences in the Bay of Fundy despite not seeing what we went there to see.

Northern Right Whales are among the rarest animals on the planet; with only some 350 alive finding one was always going to be difficult. It was a long shot and despite spending over 27 hours at sea over six days we didn’t have even have a sniff of one. Global warming has made differences of late. Water temperature increases mean the plankton on which the Northern Rights feed is no longer in abundance within the bay and the whales are having to find sustenance elsewhere… I can feel another trip coming on.

In the meantime here are some photos of a few of the many humpbacks we saw. Further insights into what else we saw I’ll let you know of over the next week or so.

Humpback 1 Humpback 2 Humpback 3 Humpback 4 Humpback 5 Humpback 6 Humpback 7Humpback Whale 8

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Jun 2023


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