Feeding frenzy: 14+ humpback whales and 1000 California sea lions

Bob Perrywhale watching californiaLeave a Comment

Surface feeding humpback named "Mustachio" - photo by Adam Ernster, Condor Express Crew

2014 04-25 SB Channel

It was overcast all day with glassy flat seas until the afternoon. Sightings were once again phenomenal and we closely watched 14+ humpback whales surrounded by 1,000 California sea lions. One whale was easy to ID and was our old pal “Mustachio” (see photo attached).

Among the humpback whale behaviors we had the privilege of observing were multiple instances of breaching and many, many occurrences of surface lunge feeding.

The 9am trip watched a breach in the distance and found all the action about 10 miles offshore from UCSB.  On the 12n trip the whales were only 5 miles outside the harbor and lots of surface feeding was watched. Finally, in the afternoon, there were multiple breaches, and plenty of surface lunge feeding including a pair lunging together then a trio of side-by-side cooperatively feeding whales.

Everywhere we found whales there were mobs and megamobs of sea lions joining in the banquet. Hundreds of cormorants, pelicans, terns, and gulls were all around too.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and

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