Southern Right Whales Part 1

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bergfalke 4
bergfalke 4 Regular Member • Posts: 177
Southern Right Whales Part 1

A selection of pics from the recent whale watching trip to the the south west coast of Sth Australia. These are all Southern Right Whales (so named because they were the right whales to hunt). Fowlers Bay and Head of the Bight are two whale nurseries where the mums go to give birth to their calves.

The notes on each pic indicate where I was shooting from.



1. Mum and calf (front). The calf always seem to sit nose high in the water. Boat cruise. Fowlers Bay.

2. Calf. Boat cruise. Fowlers Bay.

3. Spy hop. Calf sticks its head up to see what is happening on the surface. Boat cruise. Fowlers Bay.

4. Riding mums tail. Calf getting towed along by sitting on mums tail. Boat cruise. Fowlers Bay.

5. Nudge. We saw this calf starting to nudge mum repeatedly - not sure if this was "I'm hungry mum!" or not. Boat cruise. Fowlers Bay

And then they had a COVID outbreak in Adelaide which plunged the state into a lock down for seven days at short notice. We were due to leave Fowlers Bay the next day. So a quick dash to the general store in Penong 60 km away for a couple of things and then ordered a box load of food to be delivered by truck from Ceduna. (Fowlers Bay has 14 people and a kiosk at the caravan park - that's it).

6. Tail slap. Builds the tail muscles and makes a noise. Everyone likes a rowdy toddler. Beach. Fowlers Bay.

7. Mummy cuddle. Every once in a while a mum would roll on her side or back (I guess their back gets hot in the sun). This calf took it as a sign of mum wants a hug. Beach. Fowlers Bay

And then the weather turned bad. A front moved through with squally rain, strong winds and damned cold. The nearest weather station recorded winds over 70 km/hr. Then this happened....

8. Breach. An adult (young male perhaps 1 yr old) erupts from the bay. They don't breach as high as Humpbacks. So I went to the end of the jetty during a gap in the rain in perhaps the worst weather that I have ever photographed outside in. The Esplanade, Fowlers Bay. This shot was handheld.

9. Calf breach. Looking north from the end of the jetty, a young calf decided to join in the action during a sunny break. Shooting across the wind and getting hammered. The jetty, Fowlers Bay. Should have set a faster shutter speed.

10. Breach. This is the same adult from before. One moment a blank bit of windswept ocean, the next moment a whale launches vertically like a submarine missile. At least shooting with the wind (ie my back to it) made it easier to control the camera. I wish the whale had moved in a bit closer.  The jetty, Fowlers Bay.

11. Over the top. Another breach by the adult in the bay. The jetty, Fowlers Bay.

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