Southern Right Whales
I went out to Meelup and Pt Picquet today. I saw these Southern Right Whales (at least two mother calf pairs) off Castle Rock initially and they slowly moved westwards to Pt Picquet – Eagle Bay. The calves were playing together and it was hard to work out what was happening as sometimes there were two pairs, sometimes an adult on its own. When they got to Pt Picquet one pair was only 20m from the shore and the other pair were another 20m further out.
It was blowing a gale and there were no boats out today. This was fortunate because if the weather was fine, it would have been inevitable that some boats would have gone close up to these whales (which is illegal). The Southern Right mothers with calves are very sensitive to the presence of boats and normally will take off to get away (even though the calves are often so curious they will swim up to the boats before Mum rounds them up). This continuous disturbance of Southern Right Whales is serious because the mothers are looking for a quiet bay to bring up the calf before heading south in summer to the feeding grounds. While they continue to be disturbed it is unlikely we will see large numbers in Geographe Bay.
The Osprey was passing by while I was whale watching. You can see in the whale shots the two juveniles playing around the one mother. The other mother was nearby.