Minke Mama

A great time out on the water this morning with 5 humpback whales (tail lobbing and lunge feeding), 4 minke whales (including a mother and calf pair), bald eagles, puffins, gannets, guillemonts, and murres.

Minkes are probably the most common whale in our waters.  Infact, Kris’s grandfather used to call them “our” whales, because the other species would migrate but the minkes always stayed.  They are usually solitary, however, it is nice to see a mother and calf pair out there.

Rockin’ Razor Bills

Fabulous trips today with 8 humpback whales, 1 minke whale, puffins, gannets, guillemonts, bald eagles and razor bills.

Razorbills are a murre but are far less common around the island than the thick billed and common murres.  These birds are noted for their deep bill that is shaped like a knife with a white stripe on the end.  They have a longer tail than the other two species of murres, but the same black back and white chest that the other two have.  These birds are known locally as tinkers.

Not six but seven!!!

It has been confirmed, we have not six but seven sperm whales in Bonavista Bay.  In keeping with our naming tradition, because this whale was identified by our friends Paul and Sandra Dolk, who are from The Netherlands, the whale is named after a Dutch explorer.  They chose to name hum after André Kuipers, a dutch astronaut and physician, whose last mission saw him spend six months on the international space station, returning last July.  This new whale looks similar to Johnson in the shape of his tail, however, upon closer examination there are some significant differences.  Johnson has a white spot on his tail, while this whale does not.  This whale, Kuipers, appeared to have the edges of his tail lopped off but they are simply folded.  When this whale dives deep, the edges of his tail are quite curled, earning him the nickname Curly.

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This is Johnson, note the white spot on the right hand side of his tail.

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This is the only photograph that we have of Kuipers right now. Thanks to our friend Paul Dolk for allowing us to use this picture. Notice how the edges of his tail are curled. Will add more photos of this whale when we have them.

Dolphins playing with a humpback calf?

Had a great morning with three humpbacks, three minkes and 30 white beaked dolphins. The dolphins and humpback calf were interacting with each other.  We have read that the dolphins can be annoying to whales, it is interesting to see how this calf responded to the dolphin’s presence.  They seemed to “buzz” the calf swimming by very quickly.  He responded by tail lobbing, twisting his body, rolling on his back, flipper slapping, sometimes he attempted to swim after them.  The calf’s Mom seemed to be unaffected by the dolphins so perhaps it was just the calf enjoying them. Check out a video clip on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153057898630374&saved

CBC Radio

Quality time today with 2 humpbacks, 2 minkes, bald eagles, puffins and gannets.

Yesterday I was interviewed about our sperm whales by CBC radio and it aired on The Fisheries Broadcast.  Here is a recording of that interview:

http://www.cbc.ca/fisheriesbroadcast/episodes/2013/07/16/sperm-whales-discovered-in-bonavista-bay-area/