Saturday, January 21, 2012

gray whale ~ 01/21/12 ~ Rec Trail

gray whale
Eschrichtius robustus
for more information click here, here, and here

Yep, these are not the best pictures. It's really challenging to get decent photos of whales, btw, at least with my slow, poor-zoom, point-and-shoot. You can see the mottled back of the whale just to the right of the man in the second picture. This whale was incredibly close to the shore and was moving north around the Peninsula. Considering Nature ID is essentially my personal nature journal, I wanted to record the date and species of this particular whale sighting. I borrowed a marine mammal book from a friend that had cute little graphics of how one is supposed to distinguish between different cetaceans based on the shape of their spray. Ha! A couple times a year I spot various whales in the distance from home, mainly thanks to numerous whale watching boats that circle around any whales in the Bay like sharks. This time, it was thanks to a crowd of folks on the Rec Trail all pointing their cameras that we thought to stop and look. It's been a few years since I've seen a gray whale so close to the shore. The last time (unfortunately, I never recorded when), I was able to run alongside a close-to-the-shore gray from the Monterey Bay Aquarium all the way through Cannery Row, past the Plaza Hotel, and to San Carlos Beach. I've included numerous links above, because there seems to be some conflicting online information about the status of gray whales.

11 comments:

Jeannette said...

We have has spouters a plenty lately...my pictures show little but I am excited just to know that they are out there. I should look up a post for you about my lack of id specificity...you might enjoy a hearty laugh from it...I'll see if I can find it.

Jeannette said...

Here is the link for you. http://breadonthewater.blogspot.com/2009/07/teapot-progress-blueberries-dolphins-at.html

Imperfect and tense said...

No way! You can see whales from near your home? Wow! Ok, proper jealous now :o)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ha! Thanks, Jeannette. I left a comment for approval on your post.

Hate to tell you, Graeme... most of the whales and dolphins that I see are actually from our home balcony. Had we been looking, we could have seen the one above from home, but we had just left for errands. Since Andy doesn't like backing up (hehe), we drove around the block and spotted the tourists going gaga.

Imperfect and tense said...

Really?! I am absolutely typeless...







So not backing up but being lucky enough to see a whale? Not quite a reversal of fortune!

Jennifer said...

I can't remember, Did I tell you that Steve and I went whale watching last month? I was so worried I was going to get sea sick....but luckily I did not. We saw a bunch of gray whales and it was a lot of fun! We went on the Princess Monterey.

Rotton Yarns said...

! :o( green envy! I've still not seen Grey whale. As soon as I opened your page Katie and saw the blow, the first thing I said was 'grey - I bet its grey whale'!! We failed twice to see the summering beast off the Farralons in September, once because of fog and second time just bad luck. But on the second trip we saw something much harder to see than a grey - we had leatherback turtle around the boat.

troutbirder said...

Cutting to the chase Big Water has always scared me. Thats why I've always stuck with canoeing. Still the chance to see whales would be really special. What a conundrum! :)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

John, your trip to CA must have been extensive. Very cool that you got to see a leatherback turtle, though. Here in Monterey Bay, we also get humpback, blue, killer, minke, fin, sei, sperm, ziphius, and baird's beaked whales. I'm fairly sure I've seen blues from home, too, in autumn.

Mr. T, hope you don't get sea sick.

Arro said...

It must be amazing to be wandering along and spotting one of those creatures meandering through the water! Going to Monterey I'd always strain my neck trying to get a glimpse of anything out in that deep and vast water.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Arro, do you come to Monterey often? I see we like many of the same movies. Best wishes for your new blog.