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Whales and Wildlife, Catamaran Style

Month: September 2012

The Bird is the Word!

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The Bird Is The Word!! We had a GREAT pleagic bird trip this morning with the highlight being an adult SABINE’S GULL (which was a life bird for almost all on board). We also sighted scoters (white winged, black and surf), loons (common and red-throated), bald eagles, northern gannets, shearwaters (manx, sooty and great), gulls (herring, great black-backed and Bonaparte’s), black-legged kittiwakes, storm petrels (Leaches and sp.) razorbills, cormorants (double-crested and great), common eiders and jaegers (parasitic and pomarine)…I don’t think I missed any…THANK YOU to everyone who joined!

Adult Sabine’s gull in winter plumage.  Photo taken in Head Harbour Passage by NJ Hawkins 

Check out Quoddy Link Birds for the full post by Nick about our pelagic bird trip

Crisp September Day

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Hello everyone, we had one trip today, it was cold and crisp but we had some great sightings.  We had a minke and a fin whale off Head Harbour Light and another minke whale up towards Green Island.

Fin whale

minke

Also saw seals in Little Letete Passage, on Black Rock and these ones were on Casco Bay Island.

Greys and harbours

Eagles around Green Island again today

Cheers,
Danielle

Strong SW and Fin whales

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Good evening everyone, we had another full day with finbacks and minke whales on both trips.  It was a breezy day today with a strong SW but we were filled with hearty passengers.

Here are some fin whale photos from this morning

The northern gannets were incredible this morning, there must have been 50-60 in a large flock and they were all feeding!

We saw 15-20 bald eagles around Green Island this morning.

And seals of course

Harbour seal on Splitting Knife, taken this AM

Grey seals on Black Rock, taken on the 2pm departure 

Thanks for checking in today,

Cheers,
Danielle

So calm and beautiful our there today!

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Good evening everyone!  We had such a wonderful day on the water with both fin whales and minkes today.

This morning we started south of Whitehorse with 4-5 finbacks.  When they started staying under for longer we decided to head in the Islands and look for some minkes, which we found up past Casco Bay.

Here are some fin whales from the morning

The birds on and around Green Island this morning we amazing….

Great blue heron taking off

This afternoon we started inshore with 2 minkes off Race Rock including Slice

We then made our way out south of Bliss to spend time with the fin whales.  With some patience, letting the tide flood, we got some great looks but we had a little bit of a longer trip (and no one seemed to mind!).

I also got this shot of a mom and calf porpoise!

Here are some seal shots from this morning, both are harbour seals.

Cheers,
Danielle

Fins, minkes and RED HEADED greys!

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Hello everyone, we had another great day on the water and today the weather wasn’t an issue….a little over cast and hazy in the morning but you know what, the whales don’t care if it’s sunny!  We spent time with finbacks and minkes on both our 10am and 2pm trips.

Fin whale photo from our afternoon departure

The highlight of my day was our stop with the seals on our afternoon trip where we saw 4 red headed grey seals!  There is some discussion as to why this colouration happens, everything from a higher iron concentration in the water to genetics to a natural change in fur colour….so we are not sure why some are red headed but I was giggling with excitement when I saw 4 of them today!

Thanks for checking in,
Cheers,
Danielle

The Ada C Lore from Eastport, ME and Head Harbour Light 

Patience…FOG….FINBACKS!

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Hello everyone, well, patience was the name of the game today, not just with the whales but with the crazy Bay of Fundy fog.

This morning we started by listening for fin whales…and one popped up right beside us!  But the fog was just too thick to relocate him.  So we went into the Islands and saw some seals and as we were looking at some beautiful scenery the fog lifted and back out we went and found a fin whale…and slow and “sleepy” finback but we got some great looks.

Hello!

Grey seal on the left and a harbour on the right 

On our afternoon trip the fog shut back in something fierce.  So we headed up Head Harbour Passage and found some visibility past Casco as well as 2 minke whales.

Yes, that is FOG

Fog rolling in over Northwest Harbour, Deer Island, NB

As we were watching the minkes we noticed the fog pushed right back and we could see miles offshore so John took us over towards Blacks Harbour where we found 5-6 large feeding fin whales.  We got some AMAZING looks as they whales continued to surface and feed very close to the boat.

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us today,
Cheers,
Danielle

Fins, minkes and ANOTHER visit from the herring gull

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Good evening everyone!

We had another 2 great trips today with finbacks and minke whales on both departures.  We also saw seals, porpoise, bald eagles and lots of seabirds and beautiful scenery to round everything out.

Here are some whale photos from today

Fin whale

Fin whale with a very unique dorsal fin 

Finback

Finback

minke whale

This afternoon while watching minke whales we also had a visit from the same friendly hand raised herring gull from a few weeks ago.  Nick and I both utterly adore this young bird….

That is Nick’s hand in the photo 

Thanks for checking in today.  I do want to mention that we had to cancel our right whale trip due to the forecast again….but I know we made the right choice, it would not have been an enjoyable trip all the way out there.

Cheers,
Danielle

Cruise for the Cure

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Join us on Friday, September 28th at 10am for our 2nd annual Cruise for the Cure.  This will be a regular whale watch and all money will be donated to the CIBC Run for the Cure for breast cancer research.  Please call 1-877-688-2600 for reservations and information.

Great fall day

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We had a great day today and it was nice to be back on the water after a day off due to high winds.  We spent our morning trip with 2 finbacks off the mouth of Head Harbour Passage and 3 minke whales, including Slice, around Race Rock.  On our 2pm trip we had 5-6 fin whales off Bliss and a minke in Head Harbour Passage.  We also took the time to head out to South Wolf to see if we could find any humpbacks (you never know unless you look) but we didn’t have any luck.  We did see a puffin and a porbeagle shark on the way back in though!

Here are some fin whale photos from today.

Don’t forget to check out Nick’s Blog, Quoddy Link Birds, for all of our latest ornithological sightings

Cheers,
Danielle

RIGHT Good!

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Good evening everyone.  We had a very special morning today on the Bay of Fundy.  Our passengers and our crew had the privilege of spending part of their morning with a critically endangered north Atlantic right whale!  We were watching finbacks off Bliss and captain Matt saw a blow and whale that he knew was not a fin whale and we slowly made our way over and quickly saw it was a right whale!  With a world wide population of less than 475 it is so incredible to be able to spend time with these large whales.  To learn more about right whales check out Right Whale.ca 

Here are some photos of the right whale (the photos have been submitted to the New England Aquarium’s right whale research team based in Lubec, ME for ID)

Note the callosities, the roughened patches of skin inhabited by whale lice on the front of the head.  These are unique from whale to whale and what researchers use to ID

Note the V-shaped blow and the post blowhole callosities 

Some finback photos from this morning

And we also spent some time with a minke in Head Harbour Passage

Our afternoon trip was a little rough as the S wind had picked up against the ebb tide but we found 2 large fin whales off Blacks Harbour and then made our way up Head Harbour Passage and found 3 feeding minke whales and at least 10 bald eagles in the same area and 1000’s of birds feeding on the herring.

And of course…..seals.

I thought he was so sweet…

So pretty and so sleepy 

Cheers,
Danielle