Archivos de diario de octubre 2019

05 de octubre de 2019

Went to watch birds, ended up watching humpback whales!

I saw an observation from someone a few days ago of a bald eagle near the top of the peak along Conzelman Road in Marin Headlands, so today I went out on my bicycle with my binoculars hoping to see some interesting birds. But when I got to the top there were two marine biologists there observing whales (and only saw one crow :-).

Earlier while I was on the SF side of the bridge waiting for the gate to the bicycle lane to open I sat on the cliff and was looking out with my binoculars and noticed some activity in the Golden Gate near the Marin side - apparently some kind of mammals but I couldn't tell what they were. Then I noticed a very large tanker ship go through and didn't see anything after that.

Later when I got to the peak along Conzelman Road I found out from one of the marine biologists there were indeed whales in that area and they also did not see them after the large ship had passed.

I walked through the tunnel to the other side facing the ocean and was watching and noticed some type of activity. I went back and notified the marine biologists and one of them came with me back through the tunnel and sure enough there were whales!
This is the first time that I've ever seen whales. It was a great day and there were at least several of them.

[Update: What I describe below was probably a behavior called lobtailing which I have just learned about. And yes, it probably was a humpback.]

But I want to write that I also saw something very extraordinary. Way out near the middle of the bay inlet there was a tail that kept flapping over and over. It appeared to be a smaller tail - not a really large humpback whale one - and it was thrashing repeatedly. It could have been a porpoise or perhaps a hunter whale. Whatever it was its tail kept thrashing up and down almost as though its jaws were locked onto something large in the water and it was trying to subdue it and get leverage by raising its tail.

I doubt if it had been a bird that there would have been that much of a scene. For a porpoise or dolphin to eat a bird - if any birds would even be so careless to allow themselves to be attacked which I doubt - I cannot imagine there being a violent, prolonged struggle like that (this went on for at least a minute).

So I'm wondering if it was a porpoise attacking something like a seal? Or perhaps a whale had been injured by one of the passing ships (a large one had passed that area not long before) and was being attacked by a porpoise? Or perhaps it was a different type of whale like a killer whale attacking something large like a seal or porpoise?

After a magical time bicycling through the Marin Headlands today and observing whales, as I was bicycling back across the Golden Gate bridge the Sun was very low on the horizon glowing brightly, and I made one brief stop at the middle point of the bridge before finishing my journey home and looked out briefly. Sure enough, way in the distance I saw a whale spouting!

What a day!

Publicado el octubre 5, 2019 03:47 MAÑANA por xpacifica xpacifica | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario