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Category Archives: Naturalist Notebook

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 18 to October 25

This week was again largely about feeding humpback whales.  On almost every trip, they were reported doing just that.     The report on October 21 of Hancock without her calf is not a reason for concern.  By this time of the season, it is fairly common for calves to be putting more and more […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 11 – October 17

This was another week of humpback whales cutting heavily into the populations of sand eels around.  Virtually every trip reported observing various feeding techniques, including kick-feeding, the creation of bubbles, and surface lunges. A few highlights from the week include the sighting of Rocker on October 11.  He was busy playing with seaweed that was […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: October 04 – October 10

The strong winds and high seas of last week continued into this one, causing the Dolphing Fleet to cancel its trips on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. In the dropping swell of October 07, as many as a dozen or more humpback whales were seen feeding around the Peaked Hill Bars.  Calves were seen throughout the […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 27 – October 03

In reading the reports made by the naturalists this week, I think Mark Gilmore sums up the beginning of the week the best when he writes, “On the way to Provincetown this morning, Pilgrim Lake  was a mirror and an indication of the offshore conditions.  Sure enough, there were finbacks between Wood End and Race […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 20 – September 26

This was very much a week about feeding.  If you have been following along, by now you have at least some idea of the various feeding behaviors of humpback whales.  This week, they were all evident:  the bubble-nets,  the bubble-clouds,  kick-feeding,  chin-kicking,  bubble-columns,  subsurface lunges,  and the lunges through the surface of the water with […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 13 – September 19

The most commonly reported things from this week’s whalewatches are the landmarks.  The naturalist on nearly every trip makes note of one lighthouse or another.  Repeated mentions are made of Race Point Light, Wood End Light, and Long Point Light. Long Point Light is the first a whalewatch boat passes leaving from Provincetown.  It sits […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: September 06 – September 12

Last week, Carolyn reported a sighting of a blue shark.  Blue sharks are fairly common in the nearby waters.  That they are not spotted as frequently as basking sharks is likely due to the relative amount of time they spend at the surface.  It is highly migratory, found in deep waters throughout the tropics and […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: August 30 – September 05

Found along with the Green Crabs in the minnow trap for this Saturday’s morning trip, were a pair of Sea Stars.  Based on color alone, they were likely Forbes’ Common Sea Stars.  However, that species is so similar to the Northern Sea Star that without a better key one could not be sure.  Sea Stars belong […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: August 23 to August 29

In addition to the Green Crabs observed by the passengers on this Saturday’s morning trip, there were also a number of small minnow-like fish  that may have been a number of things and an incredible look at a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. With some specimens being over eight feet in diameter and two feet thick, the Lion’s Mane is the […]

Naturalist’s Notebook: August 16 – August 22

It is a very common misconception that gulls are somehow tied to the sea, hence the misnomer, seagull.  Though they are more commonly seen at the shore, many species nest very far inland.  For example, Franklin’s Gulls breed in the upper midwest, from Idaho in the west to Michigan in the east and from there, north through central Canada.  […]