One of our guests inspired the name of our Daily Report today as we watched a very large female Humpback call in all of the available male Humpbacks around the bay with an incredible display of repeated breaching and pec slapping! Being such a large female in size and length we determined she was a fair bit older than some of the younger females around that we have seen so far this season and she was certainly beautiful. So “The Cougar” it was!
We first sighted her with another very large Humpback who performed one of the biggest head lunges we have ever seen… it was incredible! Except for his tail fluke the entire body of this male was clear of the water below and he landed with an all mighty splash, everyone onboard was completely blown away. He must have been determined to try and deter the other males fast approaching the beautiful female who was showing off with breach after breach and then began her pec slapping which releases a scent, this scent and the sound encourages the males to come over and say hello.
So exciting to watch the very beginning of a competition pod and as we were with the female we could see the numerous other males approaching from left and right to meet this female and very quickly two whales became six as the competition began. Once she had the attention of these males she began leading them on a chase through the bay to see who was the strongest and wisest, the perfect choice for her new mate and we hope the male who performed the incredible head lunge wins!
A fantastic day all round with both morning and afternoon tours sighting a pod of Common Dolphins interacting with Humpbacks, breaching, head lunging, pec slapping and curious Humpbacks checking us out as they moved through Flinders Bay.
Date – 29.6.16
Species – Humpback
Lat – 34 . 22. 13 Long – 115 . 10 . 62
Notes – Individuals were interacting with pod of 10 Common Dolphins