Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Northern Migration

My best shot :-)

Whale watching is all about the photos, right? Many an eager whale-watcher goes to sea thinking it's about spotting these large friendly animals, and there's excitement when the first 'blow' is sighted. But if you happen to have a camera with you, the whole excursion can quickly descend into a challenging photographic obstacle course. All the whale sightings are through the lens...

But what a pleasure those pictures are later. These are all mine, except for the last two which were taken (with his very long lens) by the pro photographer on board, the talented Jonas Liebschner at Sydney Whale Watching (I could speculate on the nominative determinism there...Jonas and the whales?)

First sighting!


Thar they blow.
Welcome to Sydney.

I love the way the whales just lazily swim by Sydney Harbour, the city skyline in the background. From May until September, they are on their Northern Migration from the Antarctic winter to the warmer climes of northern Queensland, where they'll calve. The families them swim back down to the south for the southern summer, to eat their fill of krill. Sydney is for them, as for the cruise ships of travellers that stop in, a bit of a lazy way point. Whale numbers can reach the hundreds during the height of the migration, and they can often be easily seen from land viewing points all along the coast, as well as from the dozens of whale-watching boat operations setting out twice-daily from Sydney Harbour.

Sydney's visitors are mainly humpbacks, those friendly, curious, and - importantly - photogenic whales. Minkes, the little guys, also visit; and occasionally other varieties are spotted such as fin whales and even the enormous blue whale -- the largest animal on earth.


Tali shot!

Up close & personal

Photo credit: Jonas Liebschner

Photo credit: Jonas Liebschner

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