What a fabulous weekend Slightly lower whale numbers than last weekend, suggesting we may be coming to the end of the season. But what we lacked in numbers was made up for in wow-ness!
On Saturday morning we saw a blue whale calf come through with its mother and an escorting adult. The sex of this escort is unknown but one theory is that males may accompany females who have recently birthed in the hope of mating. If only the Flinders and Maquarie Universities’ genetics team was here!
In the afternoon we saw a very unusual sight: a blue whale tail! Most of the blues we see in Geographe Bay are travelling realtively close to shore, where the water is too shallow for the animals to dive straight down. So it is quite rare for us to see the blues lift their tail flukes out of the water, as this behaviour indicates the animal is usually diving deep. But the pair we saw on Saturday afternoon were about 4km from shore in much deeper water, and we were lucky enough to see FIVE fluke up dives over the course of our one hour focal follow!
On Saturday we also welcomed Emma to our team. Chandra and Emma both had their birthdays on Friday, so the weekend was time for celebrations! Ron and Cyndy Glencross from D-CALC were kind enough to host the festivities and provided a wonderful meal. And there was not one but two dessert options! Chris’ lovely wife Cath made a delicious ginger and pear cake, whilst the theodolite team bought a chocolate birthday cake. Yum!
Unfortunately the season will soon be drawing to a close due to shortage of funding. This means we will miss the tail end of the blue whale migration, however the D-CALC volunteers will continue to monitor animals passing close to Pt Picquet. Hopefully we can obtain more funding next year to have a longer season! Work in progress!
Disappointed that you will miss the tail end of the migration but how exciting to hear the tales of your seeing the Blue Whales’ tails. Mating display per chance?
Good Luck for planning next year’s surveying trip.