Humpback Heat Runs surged through Flinders Bay today as white water frothed with the movement of thousands of kilograms of Humpback muscle cascading after the females who led the heat runs. It is the essence of the northern migration when we observe competing Humpbacks doing what they do best when it comes to the breeding season. The males search Flinders Bay for available females who may or may not already be travelling with a male escort.
It doesn’t matter to the bachelor males either way as the competition begins and as the commotion continues through the bay other bachelor males in the vicinity hear the opportunity and come flying over from every direction to join the comp pod. Our morning had two competition pods that are also known as heat runs going at the same time with over fifteen whales split over the two pods. The energy was high and it was tricky to know where to look with so much action unfolding. Earlier on in the morning it was a much calmer start to the day though as a pod of three bachelor male Humpbacks enjoyed some social time with the local Bottlenose Dolphins.
The afternoon began even before we had left the Augusta Boat Harbour as three pods appeared within meters of the wall as we dropped lines and made our way towards the harbour entrance. The Humpback heat runs we on again and this time there were between 20-25 Humpback Whales racing through the shallows of the bay. It was one female to begin with but soon after we could see a second female gaining the attention of the boys and the pods split with two competitions unfolding at the same time. One whale which appeared to be a young male decided some breaching and head lunging was needed to try and get the attention of the others in the spectacular afternoon conditions. Further pods moved through the bay and we completed this high energy day with one last comp pod of six whales surging after each other at just over eighteen kilometres per hour as the local Bottlenose Dolphins joined in on the fun with some Humpback bow riding. Humpback heat runs are one of the animal kingdoms most exhilarating events to witness and be part of with today a perfect example of the importance of these events.