feeding and lunging – Humpies Steal the Show
Report for Saturday, May 12, 2012
Species closely followed by the Condor Express:
8 Humpback Whales ( many dozens in the area)
1 Minke Whale
1,000 Common Dolphins
2 Mola mola
A cool, overcast day on the Channel today, but the sea surface was very calm and the whales were abundant. Among the many Humpbacks that we saw today, we followed 3 of them surface lunge feeding for at least an hour. After moving away from these gluttons, we encountered 2 breaching Humpbacks, each got airborn several times. Our resident pelagic bird experts, Todd and Wes, were aboard today and pointed out masses of Sooty Shearwaters visiting here from New Zealand. Red Necked Phalaropes were also seen in large flocks, and both these bird species (shearwaters and phalaropes) feed on the same krill as the whales. Additionally, both Rhinoceros and Cassin's Auklets were plentiful, as were the Pigeon Guillimots out at the Island. At least one Boneparte's Gull was noted too. All in all a fantastic day for wildlife viewing. I'll post up the photos from the trip sometime tomorrow.
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In addition to the expert crew on the Condor Express with over 35 years of experience, Channel Islands Naturalist Corps volunteer naturalists, representatives from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park, are usually on board and available to answer your questions during the trip.
Best fishes and have a WHALE of a day!