Well hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine. The whale sightings were great with finback and minke whales on every departure but what has had me in absolute awe today was the northern gannets. There must have been over 200 of these beautiful birds soaring around. This large seabird is a plunge diver and will plummet into the water from over 100 feet in the air….HEAD FIRST! They do have air sacs in their chest and head which inflate to protect the bird from the force of the blow upon impact. Today the gannets were in a feeding frenzy at times, it was amazing. And there was not only gannets getting into the action but tonnes of porpoise as well as we had a large finback whale lunge feed with its mouth wide open right through the middle of the action. I’ve posted below a bunch of my favorite photos from today.
This photo shows a gannet almost completely in the water but don’t miss the small harbour porpoise on the left!
A gannet in the middle of the gulls diving into the sea.
That’s a gannet on the right, its head has just entered the water. Below are a bunch of pictures of northern gannets in flight. Note the different colourations. It takes gannets about 3 years to get their adult colours of white bodies, black wing tips and tail and a yellow head, before they are mature they are many different patterns of brown and white.
Below is a video Melanie, one of our naturalists, took today of some plunge diving northern gannets. It was a little breezy today but the birds soar amazingly beautiful with wind like this. Thanks for the great job Mel!!
I don’t want to forget to mention that we also had our first official sighting of Atlantic white-sided dolphins today….I didn’t manage to get any photos, they were just way too fast for me. Thanks for checking in today! Check back often and I’ll keep you posted on all of our sightings over the next few days.