All the top surfers are here for the Margaret River Pro. Here is a local getting some practice.
This was taken at Sandpatches. For some reason the dolphins have been avoiding Sandpatches this year although I frequently photograph them at other places up and down the coast. Perhaps there has been no food in this bay?
Since December I have rarely seen the dolphins at Sandpatches. I haven’t been able to get out there as much as normal, but even allowing for this they seem to have moved elsewhere. From time to time over the last five years they have done this but never for such a long time. I am guessing the food was more plentiful somewhere else.
Today they were swimming along the beach feeding, and then they would loop around for another sweep along the beach. This one decided to go for a quick surf.
At Pt Picquet we often see whales (Humpbacks, Blue whales and Southern Right whales) pass very close to shore. Usually it is an inquisitive calf who lures mum in. I suppose the calves must get bored swimming thousands of kilometres in the open ocean. The following images were taken while flying a drone under a research permit.
I went out on a small boat yesterday and these humpbacks put on a show for us. We were following them and lost them. Suddenly they appeared breaching about 50m in front of us. It was an awesome sight.
On Saturday I went to Sandpatches and the dolphins were playing.
Last night a storm moved in. We often see whales being active during a storm with lots of breaching. I suspect that in a storm the ocean is so noisy that breaching is the only means of communication that can be heard. These two whales breached fairly close to shore.
The rough weather brings in albatrosses, shearwaters, and similar birds. The dark birds are probably shearwaters and the white bodied birds are Indian Yellow Nosed albatrosses. They were all a long way out and the strong winds (> 40 knots) made for difficult conditions to photograph the sea birds!
The humpback migration seems to come in pulses – just when it seems that they are rushing past the numbers die off. The weekend was like that. Today they came back in a rush. The following photos were taken between 12:15 and 12:40. All are different breaches, and they are only shots of the closest pod. There were around 3 other pods breaching further out to sea.