background image

Newsletter 2 - 2011

Sure, there are more than Minke whales. This summer's photo collage shall give a little insight into the amazing diversity of wildlife in our study area. Not only do we meet whales, seals and seabirds regularly. Today there is a fair chance of discovering animals not seen in the Estuary so far. Such as gannets and even more spectacularly, hunting tuna cutting through the surface waters.

The past summer was characterized by ever changing weather conditions. Rarely did we have a sunny day with few clouds, heavy rain fed the surrounding waterfalls, fog moved in and out and the almost constant wind changed unpredictably.

On August 18, we waited for the southwesterly wind to build up waves. We wanted to witness a unique phenomena described by whale watching boat captains. Minke whales like to breach in 2 meter waves. And it worked out! Over the course of an hour I saw more breaching Minke whales than I have witnessed in my past 20 years! (photo centre)

I always thought how great it would be to have gannets around. Today, the magnificent birds regularly sail above and dive into our waters. (top middle)

Finback whales never throw their flukes. So they say. This one however fluked just like its giant relatives, the blue whales, do. (top right)

The rather unique tattoo on the underside of Perséides’ left flipper was photographed during a novel entrapment manoeuvre not yet named. (left column third)

A very rare and unique sighting, a resting Common seal taking a break on a big boulder not far from our harbour. (right column third)

Even at sea state 5, Loca, Speedy and Bubbler applied their unique hunting strategies. As usual Bubbler exploded right through the fish which she entrapped with a giant air bubble. (bottom left 2nd)