Southern Right Whale and Calf

mother and calf side by side

mother and calf side by side

The sunny morning helped my photography today! I walked along the beach and found the whales in their favourite place between Shag Rock and the shore. Already the ten day old calf seems more confident, following the mother or swimming beside her. First I watched them from the end of our beach, then walked up the track to Meringo Headland. Can you see the two dark shapes in the water?

Meringo Headland, Shag Rock, whales between

Meringo Headland, Shag Rock, whales between

After a while I could see that the adult was supporting her calf by lying under it. I guess this way the little one can rest and still breathe easily. See how the small one is resting at right angles to the adult, lying on her back.

mother supporting calf

mother supporting calf

After the rest it was time for swimming and lifting the great heavy head. Look at that deeply curved mouth, designed to maximise their catch of plankton. The head is huge, making up about one third of the body. This calf is almost 6 metres long and his mother is about 18 metres long (which is longer than the average bus).

both whales lifting their heads

both whales lifting their heads

On Meringo Headland there is a perfectly positioned seat, where I spent an hour of my whale watching morning.

Seat on Meringo Headland

Seat on Meringo Headland

The beaches here are fairly deserted, edged by Eurobodalla National Park for the most part. There is very little boat traffic, just a few surfers and occasional walkers on the beaches. Altogether a pleasant place for a mother to bring her young into the world.

Meringo beach looking north to Congo

Meringo beach looking north to Congo

More whale posts Whales at Sea, andΒ Southern Right Whales

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Southern Right Whale and Calf

  1. Amazing and beautiful – it’s just fantastic that there are stretches of coast that have barely changed in millennia, true wilderness for this extraordinary nursery! How long do you think she’ll stay with you, Christine, before taking her baby further south?

    PS You’re feeling well? I’m slowly, slowly trying to catch up, in between writing lists, shopping and getting things connected. See you again soon! πŸ™‚

    • Hi there Meredith … yes I am well .. having an MRI and EEG on 18th Sept … but I am sure they will be fine … and the whales, so awesome, I remember last year there were some at Broulee for several weeks so I guess about the same, maybe just a week more, depending on the youngster πŸ™‚ Christine xx PS My new tripod arrived today so photos might improve a little!

      • So glad to hear you’re back to your old (?) self! Lets hope the scans confirm what you’re feeling πŸ™‚

        The tripod will bring Mum and Bub closer – what a treat that will be. Have fun with them dear, and keep the images coming while they linger in those pristine waters.

  2. It’s wonderful that the whales return year after year to the nursery and that as TWLG noted, that remains barely changed. I love the shot of the calf resting on the mother. So good that you were able to discern the different behaviors
    πŸ™‚

  3. Awesome photos!
    Yes the young are supported from the parents underneath to help them breathe!
    Amazing that whales, millions of years ago, used to be land animals (much like wolves) that decided to go back into the seas! πŸ˜‰

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