Friday, July 17, 2009

Slow days for whales? Depends.

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July 15th and 16th have been relatively quiet days compared to the previous week when the finbacks seemed to be everywhere. My trip out resulted in only one, maybe two finbacks in Head Harbour Passage. Hard to tell since they ("he") were moving widely and staying down for a long time.

I checked Danielle's blog and she reports the same sort of day for fins on the 16th with a sighting off Nubble Island and a minke at Head Harbour Island.

But ... harbour porpoise were everywhere in Head Harbour Passage on the 15th. You could rotate through 360 degrees and see dozens of them surfacing on the calm waters. Not so flashy as the big boys, but Head Harbour Passage is a vital place for this species.

Over at Grand Manan, they have been having some spectacular days (July 13th) with sightings of white-sided dolphins, lunge feeding congregations of finbacks and great bird sightings. The kids at the Whale Camp on Grand Manan are having a ball as you can see by checking out Hele Mitcheson's blog at:

Today was spectacular, first off, just about twenty minutes into the trip, I spotted a splash in the distance which was not a harbour porpoise or a whale.... on closer inspection, it was confirmed that they were WHITE BEAKED DOLPHINS!!! Laurie, the resident whale expert on Grand Manan and in the Bay of Fundy told us that this was only the second time in over twenty years that she had seen white beaks WOW!!!!!! So, we stayed with the dolphins and they came up to the boat and we were treated to some neat underwater shows and them coming up close. YAY!!!

We then headed out to the Bulkhead Rips where large groups of fin whales had been seen earlier in the week feeding. We were not disappointed by the animals, who were there in their tens, feeding together and surfacing in large groups, at some points, ten animals were seen surfacing together at the same time. This is a really unusual phenomenon by these large whales and the Bay of Fundy is one of the only areas in the world where such feeding can be seen :-)

Photo Credit, congregation of finbacks: Hele Mitcheson

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