Saturday Social Cetaceans

Saturday Social Cetaceans today as we witnessed a very special event as Southern Right Whales, a juvenile Humpback and the local Bottlenose Dolphins all socialised together! Our morning began with the beautiful nursery grounds of Flinders Bay as the mums and calves soaked in the sunshine and settling conditions. We watched on as the calves wriggled next to their mums, flipping upside down and sideways as they improved their coordination. The calves in the nursery grounds are growing so quickly and all looking to be in fantastic health and spirits. One of the older females and her calf had a visitor today, a juvenile Southern Right who was being an Aunty to the calf and helping out with mothering duties. Carefully watching over the little one, she would swim over and gently guide the calf back towards mum if he ventured too far during their playtime. A beautiful behaviour and we wondered if perhaps this young adult was possibly a previous calf of the mature female rekindling the close bonds these two would share.

The afternoon held an incredible surprise as we gently ventured towards ruffling on the waters surface and soon recognised the distinctive back of a Humpback Whale. Surrounding this young Humpback was over twelve Bottlenose Dolphins as they swivelled together at the surface when suddenly a second whale popped up. No dorsal, callosities… this was a Southern Right Whale! Watching on in amazement we could see these three cetacean species all playing together as they rolled about on the surface, the only thing that startled us from our focus was a powerful exhalation right alongside us. Whoosh he went and we looked down at our feet to see a large, adult Southern Right swimming towards us with Dolphins following to welcome us to this Saturday social cetacean gathering! Eventually after comparing flukes, the juvenile Humpback gently departed along with his Dolphin friends and we stayed with the Southern Rights as they began to move into courtship mode. Mating just off our bow, we were a little embarrassed to be welcomed into the bedroom of these two whales! We left them to be and moved across the bay to meet the, “one we prepared earlier” calf who was playing in the shallows of Flinders Bay with mum, how wonderful is the circle of life!

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