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.
There has been a lull in the numbers of humpbacks coming through Geographe Bay oover the last couple of days (they are still streaming past the west coast indicating they are coming south further out to sea for a few days. This one came through late in the day – hence the reddish look to the light.
Dolphins surfing (28 on one wave!), leaping into the air, an Osprey, and still time to go whale watching.
After all the bad weather we finally had some sun. The dolphins made the most of it, and there were passing pods of humpbacks. They are here early this year compared to last year. After photographing the dolphins at Sandpatches, I returned home via Pt Picquet. I was told there was a pod of humpbacks playing with dolphins in Meelup Bay. I went over and got some shots, but they moved out to sea. I packed up and started to go home via the Meelup carpark (for a quick look). The humpbacks and dolphins had returned and were heading close in. Some more shots, then off to Pt Picquet to watch them go past. They were so close they would need legs to get any closer to the shore! And the dolphins were still with them.
Humpback close to shore in Meelup
Dolphins leading the humpbacks past Pt Picquet