Friday, January 19, 2018

Humpback Whale off San Diego

On January 1st I participated in a pelagic birding trip from San Diego Bay traveling about 15 miles offshore from La Jolla, and back.

We spotted a couple of whales--both Gray and Humpback. Here is a series of photos of one of the Humpback Whales.

Humpback Whale blowhole to dorsal fin
Upon surfacing the whale blows immediately with not much body visible above the water. This is a moment later. Blowholes visible on the top of the head (right), and the upper back to the dorsal fin (hump).
Humpback Whale dorsal fin
The rather sharp triangular peak of the dorsal fin on the back of Humpback Whale. Diagnostic.
Humpback Whale flukes
Strongly curved end of the flukes also identify Humpback Whales. It's not a tail... whales don't have tails. The underside of the flukes (not visible in this photo) are patterned white and dark, each individualized as a fingerprint. The flukes only rise above the water like this when the whale dives. It will remain down for 10 minutes or so after this view.