Monday, September 15, 2014

humpback whale ~ 09/15/14 ~ Pacific Grove Shoreline Park

We've had an extraordinary showing of humpback whales in the Monterey Bay recently, and today was the best so far!  The Monterey Bay Whale Watch states 70 humpbacks were spotted in the a.m., with 79 midday, and 84 (a heck of a lot!) on a bonus evening tour (as is shown here with that whale watching boat that got way too close).  Most of the road (Oceanview to Sunset) along PG's Shoreline Park was unusually crowded with landlubbers and several seriously ginormous camera lenses that likely cost more than my car, all pointing towards the water.  It was a great show.  Without binoculars, we could easily spot 4 very active areas (lots of blows) that didn't seem to move much.  Usually, the activity drifts or disappears after a few minutes.  This apparently lasted for hours.  Very cool.

Kinda crazy, and just goes to show how ignorant I can be sometimes, but humpback whales are still listed as federally endangered.  Ya.  No kidding.  That surprised me.  They were delisted from IUCN's Vulnerable status to Least Concern in 2008.

Here are extra humpback whale links: SIMoN Special Status Species, Marine Species Identification Portal, Marine Bio, Society for Marine Mammalogy, and Wild Whales (out of British Columbia).

I should mention that there were also 200 long-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus capensis), with 1500 seen 2 days ago, September 13, 2014.  Amazing.