Blue Ocean Society's Whale Sightings

Greetings! Thanks for visiting our blog. Our staff and interns will be posting their experiences here working on whale watch boats in NH and MA.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12- Prince of Whales

Crazy good day on the POW pelagic bird/whale watch! We started our marine mammal viewing in the river with a couple of harbor seals bouncing around.

Just a few miles offshore, we saw a lot of splashing that we first thought might be from dolphins but instead we were pleased to find a large pod of harbor porpoises! Typically the harbor porpoises are seen in small groups of 3-5 individuals and are a bit shy...this pod had at least 20 AND a white individual! I want to say it is an albino porpoise, but I'm really not sure if it technically albino- it had a little black on its fin and some gray on its back but not sure if that was scar tissue or actual pigment...anyway, very cool and VERY rare sighting!

The "white whale"! (harbor porpoise)

Soon after the porpoises, we found a nice minke whale!

A second minke was seen but was not all that cooperative for our purposes.

The birding was pretty good throughout the trip. Here, a parasitic jaeger is looking for another bird to stalk and force it to relinquish its lunch.
We followed some draggers who were discarding their by-catch. The gulls, petrels, shearwaters, jaegers and even a fulmar were having a feast!
A blow from a large whale was finally spotted. At first, this huge fin whale was not being all that good, but on our second attempt with her, we managed some fantastic looks! This is fin whale #9904, a female first observed in 1999.As we watched the birds behind the dragger, we passed by an ocean sunfish! After attempting to relocate the rare fulmar, we circled back and relocated the sunfish, giving us all some very unique views.
On our way in, after chasing some phalaropes, we found a nice pod of Atlantic white sided dolphins! The dolphins were just milling about, and seemed to enjoy having a boat to play with! Lots of small calves were seen, as well as several very large males!

Absolutely beautiful day on the water today! Thanks to all of you who joined us for the birds and whales!

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