The Southern Right Whales were out in numbers in Flinders Bay, Augusta today as we enjoy the peak of our Southern Right Whale season. Calves were frolicking in the shallows with mum and practicing their tail and pec slapping while the young adults put on a spectacular display of breaching and head lunging this morning. Launching 60+ tonnes into the winter atmosphere is incredible to watch as water went flying with the resulting thud that could be easily heard by whales throughout the bay. Two adult Humpbacks may have mistaken that breaching from their own kind as they raced towards the area and seemed to realise pretty quickly that it was the Southern Rights making all of that noise! Continuing their journey towards the reef line and travelling smoothly alongside us they passed the local Bottlenose Dolphins and continued their migration.
The calves continued to play and feed well into the afternoon as their increasing size means that they are a little bit more boisterous and outgoing. The females now patiently need to find new ways to amuse their energy filled calves and this can include regular interactions with the other calves in Flinders Bay, Augusta. They love to practice dueling pec and fluke slapping to see who is better and can make the loudest noise. The females will also now prevent their calves from continually hassling for more milk by rolling onto their back and pointing belly to the sky to stop nursing attempts. The female will need to make sure she does not overfeed her calf as they both rely on her blubber reserves to survive until their return to Antarctica in late October which is still a long way away.