Friday, February 25, 2011

Another New Right Whale Mother and Calf

With the quickly rising sea surface temperatures, it appears that the 2011 season may be drawing to a close. Whale sightings have diminished over the last week and when they are sighted, the whales are mostly offshore and out of sight of land. Surprises remain, however. On Tuesday, 22 February, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's aerial survey team sighted a mother-calf pair 6.4 miles northeast of St. Augustine. It was the 17th pair for the season, #3130 with her second calf (the previous was in 2008).

The Marineland Right Whale Project’s acoustic sampling boat, on the water that day, received the whales’ location from the FWC team. As the winds calmed and the sun brightened, the curious calf and its mother came by for a close approach. The team recorded and photographed this pair over the course of the afternoon.