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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 floating on the surface.

spyhop in seaweed. IMG_1684-1

Calves are commonly seen playing with seaweed and other things they find floating.  Adults usually have too much to do, making their living, to have time to be so curious.  And, on the 15th, the passengers of the Dolphin 8 witnessed a female humpback whale feding while her calf swam through the bubble clouds with its mouth open, obviously mimicking its mother’s actions.



On the 17th, Mike reports huge clouds of bubbles rising behind the Dolphin 8.  Within mere moments, five adult humpback whales were spotted rising achingly slowly through those bubbles as they collected sand eels.  The two calves of the group also surfaced close outside the clouds of bubbles but did not appear to be attempting to catch fish.