MistyNites

My Life in Motion

Archive for the tag “dolphin”

Wildlife of Scotland

It is said that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. After spending over 28 years of my life living in Scotland, it took moving to the other side of the world to really appreciate some of my homeland’s special qualities. As brimming as it is with beautiful scenery, it is also full of wildlife, both urban and rural. Over the last few years I have become a bit of a bird enthusiast, and I’ve found myself paying more attention to the feathered creatures that flit about around me. Whenever I go abroad, I’m very conscious of the wildlife that lives in that foreign land, and now when I go back to Scotland, I see the wealth of wildlife with fresh eyes. From cities to lochs, and mountains to the coast, there is something to spot everywhere. Special mention goes to the otter, red fox, red squirrel, hedgehog, minke whale, harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, basking shark, white-tailed sea eagle, buzzard, kestrel and osprey which I have had the joy of seeing but haven’t been able to photograph.

MAMMALS

Reindeer

There’s only 1 herd of reindeer in the whole of the UK and they roam the mountain tops near Cairngorm, many of them coming down daily to hand-feed from visitors.

Adult Reindeer

Reindeer calf

 

Red Deer

The ‘Monarch of the Glen’, the male deer in full antlers and rutting mode is a sight (and sound) to behold. Spotted in the mountains and moors.

Red deer in Glen Muick

 

Roe Deer

The shy and solitary member of the deer family. Much harder to spot than the other deer species. This one was spotted in Caithness.

Roe deer

 

Grey Squirrel

An introduced species that has played a major part in the decline of the native red squirrel, these guys are a common sighting in parks and gardens, and are easy to spot without even leaving the city.

Grey squirrel

 

Rabbit

Seen as a pest by some, rabbits are often easy to spot in farmland and open fields.

Rabbit

 

Common Seal

From a distance, the common and grey seal can look very similar. Usually spotted hauled out onto rocks up the west coast or on the islands.

Common seal

 

Grey Seal

Newburgh beach north of Aberdeen offers near guaranteed sightings of these seals. They usually haul out on the protected north side of the Ythan river there, and can also be seen swimming in the river itself watching the beach goers and dogs go by.

Grey seal in the Ythan river

Seals hauled up on the beach at Newburgh

 

Humpback Whale

A seasonal visitor to Scottish waters, they can be spotted for a very short time in the waters around the islands of the west coast.

Humpback whale off the west coast of Scotland

Humpback whale fin slapping

 

White-beaked Dolphins

Feeding pods can be spotted around the islands off the west coast if you are lucky.

White beaked dolphins in Scottish waters

White-beaked dolphin leaping

 

Common Dolphins

These deep sea feeders are my favourite species of dolphin. They can be spotted off the west coast if you are lucky.

Common dolphin

 

BIRDS

Pied Wagtail

These are commonly spotted garden and pasture birds and are widely spread across the country.

Pied wagtail

 

Chaffinch

The colourful male is easy to spot in gardens and green spaces. The female blends in more and is less distinctive, but the species is well spread across the country.

Chaffinch (male)

Chaffinch (female)

 

Blackbird

Another common visitor to gardens and green spaces. This juvenile was trying to grab the attention of its parents.

Blackbird (juvenile)

 

Wood Pigeon

This is the porky version of the common run-of-the-mill street pigeon that plagues city centres. Although they will occasionally be seen amongst their scrawny city-dwelling cousins, they are more usually seen in the suburbs or near woods.

Wood Pigeon

 

European Robin

The recognisable robin redbreast that adorns many a Christmas card is best spotted in gardens.

European Robin

 

Starling

A common and easily spotted bird in both urban and rural areas. These birds often flock together in mesmerising murmurations in the evening as they prepare to roost in large groups.

Bedraggled starling parent

 

House Sparrow

Another common and easily spotted garden bird.

House Sparrow

 

Song Thrush

These are the birds that I fondly remember from my childhood, singing away in the trees behind my parent’s house. They have a beautiful song, and are best spotted in areas with trees, but this includes many public green spaces and gardens.

Song Thrush

 

Carrion Crow

One of the county’s most diversely spread birds, they don’t seem fussy with their habitat and can be spotted in both urban and rural areas either singly or in groups. They are adaptable and have a varied diet, and are also known to be intelligent.

Carrion Crow

 

Swallow

Less spotted than the more common and similar-looking swift, these birds love to fly over high-insect zones such as farmland and waterways. They are exceedingly agile on the wing and are amazing to watch in action. It is also rare to see them on the ground and uncommon to see them perching as most of their life is spent on the wing.

Swallow

 

Common Linnet

This is a bird I never knew existed until I was going through my photos after my most recent trip home and wondered what it was. I’m certainly not aware that I have ever seen one before. This colourful male was spotted near the coast on Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands.

Common Linnet (male)

 

Mallard Duck

Anyone who has ever fed bread to a duck in a city park in Europe and North America has likely been feeding these guys. They are everywhere, and have been introduced to many other countries outwith their original range.

Mallard Ducks

 

Mute Swan

Another common occupant of urban waterways as well as coastal estuaries. I grew up knowing nothing but white swans, and remember a news story from my childhood about a black swan that appeared in the river in the town of Ayr south of where I lived. There is something very majestic about these creatures, although they can be very vicious if you get too close, especially when they have youngsters.

Mute swans on the farmland

 

Common Redshank

A lover of dampness, these birds are best spotted around marshes, meadows and lakes. Despite its name, its not as common as it used to be.

Common Redshank

 

Northern Lapwing

It is usually their cry that draws your attention to these birds. Although they are wading birds, they are best spotted on farmland and cultivated pastures. Unfortunately, population numbers are showing a decline and they are classified as a threatened species.

Northern Lapwing

 

Great Grey Shrike

I photographed this bird but didn’t know what it was at the time. Their preferred habitat is grassland with shrubbery, and it is uncommon to spot them. This particular bird was spotted near the coast next to some open farmland in summer time which is unseasonal as they usually migrate to breed elsewhere.

Great Grey Shrike

 

Pheasant

Native to Asia, the pheasant was introduced historically as a game bird. Many a painting adorning Scottish castles and mansions will depict dead pheasants hanging in a kitchen or off the arm of a shooter. Even today, these birds are still popular to shoot during the right season. To shoot them with a camera, they tend to be found in the countryside where they like to dash out in front of cars on rural back roads, and are occasionally spotted when out hiking in the glens.

Pheasant (male)

Pheasant (female)

 

Red Grouse

Another bird that is still shot in Scotland during the beating season. They are very difficult to spot, hiding in amongst the heather of the open moorland in the highlands and some of the islands. It is easier to spot them on a bottle of whisky where their image has had a worldwide audience thanks to the Famous Grouse brand. I came very close to standing on this little grouse chick that was easy to overlook and refused to move when I got close. I’ve never seen an adult in the wild.

Red Grouse (chick)

 

Eurasian Oyster Catcher

With their distinctive call, they can be the rowdy accompaniment to any beach walk and are one of many bird species that wander around the tidal zone looking for a meal.

Eurasian Oyster Catcher

 

Ringed Plover

These pretty little birds are another common sighting at the beach, feeding in the tidal zone, and often seen in small groups.

Ringed plover

 

Common Sandpiper

These migratory birds are only seen in the summer months but are beach goers that forage in the tidal zone, and are more solitary in their habits than the ringed plover who they share a habitat with.

Common sandpiper

 

Curlew

The largest wading bird in Europe, the curlew is sadly a threatened species. Usually seen on their own, they can be spotted either on the shoreline or inland.

Curlew

 

Temmincks Stint

One of many similar looking shore birds seen around the tidal zone.

Temmincks Stint

 

Common Eider

These large ducks are sea-dwellers, living along coastlines of Europe and North America. They are an easy spot in Scotland due to the distinctive colouration of the male and their size.

Eider (male)

Eider duck (female)

 

Red-breasted Merganser

This migratory diving duck breeds in Scotland, and this particular female was spotted in Loch Lomond cruising near the shore.

Red-breasted Merganser

 

Black-Headed Gull

A commonly spotted gull near the coastline.

Black-headed gull

 

Common Gull

As the name suggests, these are a common sighting, mainly on the coastline but can be spotted in cities and farmland. They are bigger than the black-headed gull but smaller than the black-backed gull.

Common gull

 

Black-backed Gull

The big bully of the gull world, there is no shortage of these gulls around Scotland and they will happily scavenge in urban zones as much as the coastline.

Black-Backed Gull (juvenile)

 

Fulmar

These birds are wanderers of the sea, only coming to shore for the sake of breeding. They are a loud and common sighting along many coastlines in the summer months.

Fulmar

 

Great Skua

Also known as Bonxie, these large birds are the robbers of the bird world. Why obtain your own fish when you can steal from another? They can be spotted at rest on land or more commonly seen swooping and mobbing at other sea birds in the air or on cliffs.

Great skua

 

European Shag

Shags and cormorants are terms used differently for different birds within the cormorant family. They are best spotted on rocks where they like to spread their wings wide to dry. This nest with juveniles was on Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands, but they are widespread along the Scottish coastline.

Shag parent with chicks

 

Gannet

This is one of my favourite sea birds and are most impressive when seen diving at great speeds from the air to catch fish. A flock of diving gannets can be a good way to find feeding whales and dolphins as they will often track feeding pods where the fish are pushed nearer the surface.

Gannets

 

Puffin

One of Scotland’s most special birds. Unfortunately their numbers are in decline as they are selective feeders. I remember seeing great flocks of these when I was younger, and now they are in small clusters. Despite their petite size, they spend most of the year at sea, returning to land only to breed where they nest in burrows. The cliffs on the west coast of Mainland Orkney, Faraid Head in Sutherland, and the Isle of Staffa are recommended places to spot them in the summer months.

Puffin

 

Guillemot

A similar size to the puffin, though much more populous, and often seen hanging around in the same places.

Guillemot

 

Razorbill

Another cliff-loving sea bird, they are often seen milling around near guillemots.

Razorbills

 

OTHER – THE OFTEN OVERLOOKED INSECTS, AMPHIBIANS AND FISH

Six-Spot Burnet

This pretty moth was spotted amongst the dunes on the Aberdeenshire coast.

bug at the beach

 

Hairy caterpillar

One of many reasons to watch where you tread. This guy was crossing the hiking path on the West Highland Way.

Caterpillar

 

Blue Damselfly

A pretty little dragonfly, their colour is mesmerising. Spotted near a loch in Sutherland.

Blue damselfly

 

Golden-Ringed Dragonfly

A beautiful and large dragonfly, I spotted this one whilst out hiking in Cairngorm National Park, although they are more widespread in western Scotland.

Dragonfly

 

Snails

Slugs and snails are a gardener’s pest but I like snails, and think the ground-dwelling creatures of the world are under-appreciated. This group of snails were hanging out on a post in Barra, in the Outer Hebrides.

Group of snails hanging out

 

Black Slug

The ugly slug of the slug world.

Black Slug

 

Brown Slug

The not-so-ugly slug of the slug world.

Mr Slug

 

Frog

The famously wet climate means amphibians can find plenty of habitat to choose from in Scotland. Unfortunately several species are on the decline due to predation, disease and habitat destruction. This frog came into a mountain bothy I was staying in whilst out hiking in the Cairngorm National Park.

frog

 

Blue Crab

One of many crabs that can be spotted on Scottish beaches. This one was at Faraid Head in Sutherland.

Blue crab

 

Sunfish

Also known as the mola, this is the heaviest boned fish in the world. It is really rare to spot these in Scottish waters, but they occasionally pop up due to the ocean currents. I was exceedingly lucky to spot this impressive fish off the coast near Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, many years ago.

Sunfish

 

Moon Jellyfish

One of the more common jellyfish in Scottish waters.

Moon jellyfish

 

Jellyfish

Another jellyfish in Scottish waters. To some people, jellyfish are horrible creatures, something to fear. Whilst I don’t want to swim amongst them, I certainly like looking at them move around the water.

Jellyfish

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Wildlife of the Galapagos Islands

I am fully aware of how lucky I am. I have been able to travel many times, and in different countries have had, with just a few exceptions, such thrilling experiences with the local flora and fauna. But in my opinion, there is nowhere in the world that can come close to the experience I have recently had in the Galapagos Islands. Magical. Surreal. Fantastic. Whatever adjective I choose, it cannot adequately sum up how the place makes me feel. After 5 weeks visiting 10 of the 17 islands (and the seas in between!), I saw so much wildlife that I just had to share some of my excitement.

MAMMALS (English)/MAMIFEROS (Spanish)

Sea Lion/Lobo Marino

Sea LionSea lion underwater

Humpback Whale/Jorobada

Humpback Whale mother and calf

Bottle-nosed Dolphins/Delfin Mular

Bottle-nosed dolphins

Killer Whale/Orca

Orca (fin tips just visible)

REPTILES/REPTILES

Galapagos Giant Tortoise/Galapago

Galapagos Tortoise

Pacific Green Turtle/Tortuga Marino del Pacifico

Marine Turtle

Marine Iguana/Iguana Marina

Marine Iguana

Galapagos Land Iguana/Iguana Terrestre de Galapagos

Land Iguana

Hybrid Iguana

Hybrid (Marine x Land) Iguana

Lava Lizard/Lagartija de Lava

Lava lizardLava LizardLava LizardLava Lizard

Gecko/Geco

Gecko

BIRDS/AVES

Blue-footed Booby/Piquero Patas Azules

Blue-footed Booby

Nazca Booby/Piquero de Nazca

Nazca Booby

Magnificent Frigatebird/Fragata Real

Magnificent Frigatebird (Female & Juvenile)Magnificent Frigatebird (Male)

Great Frigatebird/Fragata Comun

Great Frigatebird (Juvenile)Great Frigatebird (Male)

Galapagos Penguin/Pinguino de las Galapagos

Galapagos Penguin

Greater Flamingo/Flamenco

Flamingo

Lava Gull/Gaviota de Lava

Lava Gull

Red-billed Tropic Bird/Ave Tropical

Red-billed Tropic Bird

Swallow-tailed Gull/Gaviota de Cola Bifurcada

Swallow-tailed Gull

Brown Noddy Tern/Gaviotin Cabeza Blanca

Brown Noddy Tern

Smooth-billed Ani/Garrapatero Comun

Ani

Galapagos Shearwater/Pufino de Galapagos

Shearwater

Storm Petrel/Golondrina de Mar

Frigatebird (large) with Storm Petrel (small)

Semipalmated Plover/Chorlitejo

Plover

Whimbrel/Zarapito

Whimbrel

Sanderling/Playero Comun

Sanderling

Wandering Tattler/Errante

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone/Vuelve Piedras

Turnstone

Great Blue Heron/Garza Morena

Great Blue Heron

Cattle Egret/Garza del Ganado Bueyera

Cattle Egret

Great Egret/Garza Blanca

Great Egret

Brown Pelican/Pelicano Cafe

Brown Pelican (Juvenile)Grey Heron (Adult)

Finches/Pinzon

Small Ground FinchLarge Ground FinchGalapagos FinchFinch

Yellow Warbler/Canario Maria

Yellow Warbler (Male)Yellow Warbler (Female)

Striated Heron/Garza de Lava

Striated heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron/Garza Nocturna

Night Heron

Galapagos Mockingbird/Cucuve de Galapagos

Mockingbird

White-cheeked Pintail/Patillo

White Cheeked Pintail (Female)

Common Gallinule/Gallinula

Common Gallinule

Black-necked Stilt/Tero Real

Black Necked Stilt

Galapagos Dove/Paloma de Galapagos

Dove

Galapagos Flycatcher/Papamoscas

Flycatcher

FISH/PECES

White-tipped Reef Shark/Tintorera

White-tipped Reef Shark

Stingray/Raya

Stingray

Spotted Eagle Ray/Raya Aguila

Spotted Eagle Ray

Blue-Chin Parrot Fish/Pez Loro de Barba Azul

Blue-Chin Parrotfish (Terminal Phase)Blue-Chinned Parrotfish (Initial Phase)

Streamer Hogfish/Vieja Ribeteada

Streamer Hogfish

Panamic Sergeant Major/Sargento Mayor

Sergeant Major

Damselfish/Damisela

Damselfish

Galapagos Grunt/Roncador de Galapagos

Galapagos Grunt

Razor Surgeonfish/Pez Chanco

Razor Surgeonfish

King Angelfish/Pez Bandera

King Angelfish

Bullseye Puffer/Botete Diana

Bullseye Puffer

INVERTEBRATES/INVERTEBRADOS

Galapagos Painted locust/Saltamontes de Galapagos

Painted Locust

Spot-winged Dragonfly/Chapulete

Dragonfly

Zig zag Spider/Aranha zig zag

Zig-Zag Spider

Sally Lightfoot Crab/Zayapa

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Fiddler Crab/Cangrejo Violinista

Fiddler Crab

Pencil Spined Sea Urchin/Erizo Punta de Lapiz

Sea Urchin

Chocolate Chip Sea Star/Estrella Chispas de Chocolate

Chocolate Chip Sea Star

Octopus/Pulpo

Octopus

Cockroach/Cucaracha

Cockroach on back

Cetaceans

As much as I love travelling, if not more so, I love whales and dolphins. One of the great things that travelling has allowed me to do is to pursue my dream of seeing these magnificent creatures in the wild. I have seen several species of each in various countries, and for once I’d like to focus more on the photographs and videos I’ve obtained of these glorious creatures. Below is a list of all the cetacean species that I’ve seen in my life. Unfortunately I don’t have photographs for all of them, or indeed have good photographs for all of those that I do have, but I’d just like to share my love of whales and dolphins.

  • COMMON BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)

This is the species of dolphin that I have seen the most. They live in many parts of the world’s oceans, and I have seen them off the coast of Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand. They are playful and inquisitive and can be found in varying group sizes. I have autopsied a few that washed ashore in South Africa.

  1. SOUTH AFRICA – 2005:

Bottlenose DolphinsBottlenose Dolphins

 

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. NEW ZEALAND – 2012:

Bottlenose DolphinBottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ECUADOR 2015:

Bottle-nosed dolphins

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • INDIAN HUMPBACK DOLPHIN (Sousa plumbea)

These shy dolphins are normally not very acrobatic but I was lucky enough to catch on video a rare moment when one jumped out the water. They normally hug the coastline, and I saw a few pods of these along the coast whilst in South Africa in 2005.

  • LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus capensis)
  1. SOUTH AFRICA 2005

This is my favourite species of dolphin: I love the hour-glass pattern on their body, which makes them look beautiful. I was lucky enough to see a massive pod of these in the deep ocean water off the coast of South Africa in 2005. Unfortunately, the sea was so rough and they travelled past the boat at such speed that I did not manage to get any photos of them.

  1. SCOTLAND 2016

Accompanying a feeding humpback whale and some white-beaked dolphins, it was a pleasure to see this species in the wild again.

Common dolphin

 

 

 

 

 

  • HECTOR’S DOLPHIN (Cephalorhynchus hectori)

These are one of the smallest species of dolphins, and they are highly endangered. They also live exclusively off the coast of New Zealand, and I have been lucky enough to see them several times in both 2012 and 2013.

Hector's DolphinsHector's Dolphin

Hector's Dolphin

Hector's Dolphin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hector's Dolphin

Hector's Dolphin

Hector's Dolphin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • DUSKY DOLPHIN (Lagenorhynchus obscuris)

Unfortunately I was suffering acute sea sickness on the trip that I saw these guys in 2013 (for the full story, read here). This is the one and only photograph I was able to take, and you can barely tell that there are 2 dolphins there.

Dusky dolphins

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • HARBOUR PORPOISE (Phocaena sinus)

Whilst on the ferry between North Uist and Skye in 2010, two islands off the west coast of Scotland, the ferry was followed by some porpoises that enjoyed the waves. I was too busy enjoying watching them frolic and play to take any photographs. Since then, I have seen the off individual on a couple of boat trips off the west coast of Scotland in 2016.

  • WHITE-BEAKED DOLPHINS (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

Whilst searching for humpback whales off the west coast of Scotland, these guys joined in the feeding.

White beaked dolphins in Scottish waters

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • KILLER WHALE (Orcinus Orca)
  1. CANADA 2002:

I was lucky enough to see 3 super pods of Orca, an estimated 200 animals, off the coast of Vancouver Island in 2002. It was an amazing experience, and they are truly beautiful and mesmerising creatures. I am firmly against the keeping of these creatures in captivity, and it breaks my heart to know the treatment that has been endured by some individuals. The movie Blackfish is a real eye opener to their plight. I can still remember bobbing around on the Pacific Ocean surrounded by Orcas as far as the eye could see. The photographs are the good old fashioned pre-digital kind which require to be scanned onto the computer so they will follow in due course.

  1. ECUADOR 2015:

I wasn’t expecting it, but I was utterly excited to get a brief sighting of these amazing mammals. Look closely, and I promise there are two dorsal fins there!

Orca (fin tips just visible)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • COMMON MINKE WHALE (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

I have only ever seen 1 minke whale in the far distance whilst on a boat off the west coast of Scotland in 2006. It was too far away to get a decent picture.

  • HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)

The majestic humpack whale is my favourite marine animal, and my favourite species of whale. Again, I have been lucky enough to see them multiple times in both South Africa and Australia. I was even privileged to take part in the autopsy of a humpback whale that washed ashore in South Africa.

  1. SOUTH AFRICA – 2005:

Humpabck WhaleHumpback whales

Humpback Whale

Humpack Whales

Humpack Whale

Juvenile Male Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humpback Whales

Autopsying a Humpback Whale

The inner ear bone of a humpback whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. AUSTRALIA – 2012:

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

Humpack Whale

Humpback Whales

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ECUADOR 2015:

Humpback Whale mother and calf

Humpack whale near the coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. SCOTLAND, 2016

It is not that common an occurrence to see humpback whales off the coast of Scotland, but for several weeks, the sightings were very regular indeed.

Humpback whale off the west coast of Scotland

Humpback whale fin slapping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ICELAND, 2016

Witnessed on a trip from Husavik, in the north of Iceland, this is the furthest north on the planet that I have been.

Humpback whale, Iceland

Humpback whale fluking as it dives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE (Eubalaena australis)

These strange looking creatures come into sheltered bays to give birth to their calves. This has allowed me to view them several times, and I was witness to several of them in South Africa and whilst in Argentina, I saw a mother with a white calf. I have found them to be very inquisitive whales, and they often seem keen to come near the boat and investigate. On one trip in South Africa, a juvenile bull whale practiced his courtship with the hull of our boat, rolling over and touching his fin to the hull.

  1. SOUTH AFRICA – 2005:

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. ARGENTINA – 2010:

Southern Right Whale calf

Mother Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale calf

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale

The white calf

Southern Right Whale

Southern Right Whale calf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • BRYDE’S WHALE (Balaenoptera brydei)
  1. SOUTH AFRICA – 2005

With a similar body shape to Minke whales, these are very shy whales, proving very difficult to find. I managed to see one almost by chance when assisting on a research trip in South Africa 2005. It spent little time at the surface, and moved around so much that I was unable to take any photographs of it.

  1. NEW ZEALAND – 2015

Bryde whale lunge feeding

Bryde Whale

Bryde whale near Coromandel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SPERM WHALE (Physeter macrocephalus)

This is the largest species of whale that I have seen, finally seeing a couple in 2013 both from the air and from the sea off the coast of New Zealand. They remain on the surface only to re-oxygenate their blood prior to long dives down into the depths of the sea in search of food. I loved getting to see all of the whale from the air, but unfortunately, the trip out to sea was the same trip I saw the dusky dolphins, so the experience was rather marred by the sea sickness that I was suffering from.

Sperm WhaleSperm Whale

Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale

Sperm WhaleSperm Whale

Sperm Whale diving

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