Whale Watching Augusta in July is a perfect time to meet competing adults and also some of the first new calves to have been born further south as they make the long journey north with mum. Today we enjoyed the company of boisterous adults as competition pods rumbled through Flinders Bay during both our morning and afternoon departures. It was also interesting to observe two mother and calf pods today with both having caught the attention of a few bachelor males in the area. The males don’t intend to harm the calves but during all of the excitement as they approach the adult female and try to gain her attention the young calves can be in a dangerous situation. Thankfully mother whale is onto the situation early and will keep a low profile to avoid detection but in a situation where they are found she will keep her calf close and away from the males curious advances. Today one of the females was fortunate to have a protective male escort travelling with her and his job is to keep the other males away from mother and calf.
Watching everything unfold we could see the males physically body blocking each other while using the powerful reversal as they lift upwards before pulling back into the male behind them. One other male was showing off the crocodile like snake tactic as he stretched his body out to look as big as possible while swimming at the surface. Appearance of this manoeuvre was very unusual and not always seen amongst the males but for this individual it was his go to move. The female of one of todays calves also displayed an old wound on her back which has healed. It appears to be an impact injury which is likely the result of a vessel collision in the past, thankfully she has survived that day and is now fighting fit with a beautiful new calf to care for. It was another fantastic day whale watching Augusta and a great opportunity to observe these two new calves who we wish a very safe journey ahead as the early arrivals move north to water waters. The boys will continue to battle on with a few remaining in the bay throughout the day in search of any last females heading north that they can partner up with, but finding one is getting trickier for the males with each passing day.