Coastal Humpbacks & Minkes Continue to Enthrall All
It was out to the Flats again today with a light breeze and something new: sunny skies! Along the way we took a close look at Platform Hogan, and rode with several small groups of common dolphins. We had perhaps 1,000 common dolphins all together on today’s trip. We also had some spectacular looks at several Minke whales on our way east. It did not start to get real birdy until we were several miles east of Hogan where the keen eyes of Naturalist Dino with his stabilized binoculars spotted the first humpback whale…a small adult with two white “owl eyes” spots on its tail flukes.
The water today had changed color from blue to green, it was no longer mill pond glassy flat, and the number of sooty shearwaters was down from previous trips this week and we saw only 3,000 or 4,000 all totaled. There were a few small hot spots with brown pelicans and a lot of elegant terms squawking. Twice a big pomarine jaeger came up and attacked an elegant tern and the subsequent aerial dog fight was exciting to watch. Both times the jaeger seemed to go away empty handed (empty beaked?), proving once again that crime does not pay.
Moving further to the east things got a bit more birdy and the water was a bit more blue. Before long, Capt. Dave had dialed in on two more humpback whales, making three total for the day. This was our friends the mother and calf pair we’ve been seeing on and off for about a week. Twice the pair scared the bejeebers out of the humans on the bow of the Condor Express by making friendly approaches so close you could not fit their bodies in the camera frame using a wide angle lens! I apologize if I have spelled bejeebers wrong.
We hung out with the cow-calf pair until it was time to go. They are a great pair and very cooperative to watch.
I’ll post up the photos from today’s trip sometime tomorrow.
Condor Express Scribe
So Dino’s whale was a whale with a mission….heading east with a regular 4 minute down time. After spending some quality time with this animal,