An influx of new humpback whales has arrived! As usual, right around Labor Day, we tend to see new humpback whales in our area, along with some of the ones we had been seeing regularly. This trend seems to be somewhat new (last 5 years or so) but we’ll have to do more data exploring to know for sure.
Thursday morning, a pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins greeted us as we approached Jeffreys Ledge. This was a very compact pod of around 100 dolphins, all coming up together or so it seemed.
|Atlantic white sided dolphins|
|Atlantic white sided dolphins- mom and calf|
|Humpback whale's 15-ft flipper|
|Humpback whale tail-breaching|
|Humpback whale, Nile, lob-tailing|
A bit further out, we found another pair of humpback whales, Valley and her calf.
|Humpback whale mom and calf|
|Humpback whale, Valley, diving near tuna boats|
A minke whale was also seen cruising through the area on this overcast morning.
Thursday afternoon, Valley and calf were still in the area so we hung out with them for a bit.
|Humpback whales diving (this shows one of the reasons they get the name "humpback" whales!|
|Humpback whale, Valley|
Then we moved on to a trio of humpback whales, Spoon, Nile and another whale yet to be identified! This trio was snoozing (logging is the technical term).
|Humpback whale diving|
|Humpback whale diving with a little flare|
|Multiple whales below the boat!|
Then as things progressed, Spoon was with yet another humpback whale who is still unknown to us. Such a day of the old switcheroo!
|LPG tanker (transiting from Portsmouth, NH to Delaware) while a humpback whale dives nearby|
Friday morning we found a whale taking long dives and not fluking very high. We had no idea who this new visitor was but later in the day identified it as Osprey, a humpback whale that hasn't been seen in our area since 2012.
their separate ways.
|Owl saying goodbye to Osprey|
|Trio of sleepy humbacks|
On our way home we passed by a pod of about 12 harbor porpoises!!
Friday afternoon, Spoon the humpback whale was seen again! She was much more active than she has been over the past few days. She was blowing bubble clouds to corral her fish and charging through the area!
The long-diving humpback seen in the morning was seen again and this time we got some identifying looks at its flukes- this was Osprey, a humpback whale who has only been seen once in this area prior (2012)! The whale’s tail had darkened a bit over the past 8 years but was still distinctive enough for us to figure out who it was (after a bit of effort)!!
|Humpback whale Osprey in 2020|
|Owl's huge but healing scar|
Just a bit away we saw splashing- Valley and her calf were still around but now they were tail lobbing and tail breaching!! Of course when we approached, they stopped all the fun activity, but we were excited to see that Nile had once again decided to join the pair!
The past 2 days were really a treat for whale watchers. So much activity was seen and the weather was pretty nice!