Monday, February 28, 2011

The Whales Keep Us Guessing…Again

Just as we thought that the season may be drawing to a close, the phone rang on Friday afternoon, 25 February, with a sighting from Surf Club, about a mile south of Marineland. To our surprise, we confirmed a mother and calf, heading SOUTH! We followed them to Washington Oaks, then to Malacompra Park, where we left them still swimming steadily south. They obliged by coming within a quarter mile of shore and we were able to identify them as #2660, Gannet, a fifteen-year-old female, and her third calf, born sometime before 21 December. This was our first view of the pair in our area this season. Gannet has a white belly and you can see the white chin of her calf in the photo.

Naturally, we looked forward to sighting them again on Saturday, but coastal fog kept surveys and the AirCam on hold. By 3:00 pm, the fog had finally lifted enough to launch the AirCam, but despite calm seas and surveying out to 3 miles offshore, Gannet and calf were not to be found.

Friday also brought the good news of a newly sighted mother and calf pair just to the north of our area. Female #2790 and her third calf brought the total count of calves born this year to eighteen.