#14: Mid-Season Update

It's been a quiet season so far for the Right Whale Research teams. Our last day out on the water was September 7, which was cut short by the rough seas that developed. On that day, we saw the mom (Catalog #3390) and calf pair that we are now very familiar with, but those were the only right whales of the day. Including September 7, we have had 14 days out in the Bay of Fundy, and 8 of those days provided us with our current total of 43 right whale sightings (includes whales that we have seen multiple times). One of the whales  that we were happy to see for the first time this season was Black Heart (#3540), named for the heart-shaped bare spot at the front of her head.

Black Heart, #3540, surfaces with mud on her head. Photo: Meagan Moeyaert

On September 2, we did get to witness our first Surface Active Group (SAG) of the season. Although it was brief and consisted of only three whales, it was good to see some socialization and for us to get in shape for any larger SAGs that we might see later in the month.

Legs, #1170, lifts his head high out of the water, possible producing "gunshot" noises. 
Photo: Amy Knowlton

Aside from playful calves and socializing adult right whales, we have witnessed some really amazing humpback behaviors, like breaching and bubble feeding. We've also seen a variety of other species, including a bowhead whale, finback, minke and sperm whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoise, white-sided dolphins, blue sharks, basking sharks and ocean sunfish.

A humpback filters out water from the fish it just rounded up through use of a bubble net. The white flipper is visible under the water. Photo: Marianna Hagbloom

We've been stuck on land recently because of the high winds and rain we experienced from the outskirts of Tropical Storm Leslie and a few other weather systems. We hope that our next day out on the water will be tomorrow, September 12. Maybe all that wind blew some right whales in our direction!


1 comment:

  1. I'm crossing my fingers for you guys! Keep up the great work. :)