Southern Right Whale - SA Whale Centre - May 2014Southern Right Whale - SA Whale Centre - May 2014

The whale watching season is off to an early start in South Australia, with several sightings reported via the SA Whale Centre’s log in recent weeks. From late autumn through to spring, Humpback and Southern Right Whales appear more frequently in nearshore waters as they migrate northwards from the Antarctic to calve and rear their young.

The first Southern Right whale sightings of 2014 were reported on April 22 from Remarkable Rocks/Admiral’s Arch on Kangaroo Island, where a single animal was observed breaching as it traveled.

On May 5th, Elizabeth Steele-Collins sighted and photographed three Humpback whales between 5 and 8 kms offshore from the Waitpinga Cliffs on Fleurieu Peninsula. They were observed breaching, diving, flipper slapping, travelling and blowing.

The first inshore Southern Right Whale thrill for Victor Harbor residents came on May 8th, when a whale was sighted just 150 metres from The Causeway, flipper slapping and body rolling.

At the Head of the Bight, the State’s most significant inshore whale aggregation site, a single Humpback whale was sighted on the 13th and another on the 16th of May. Hundreds of whales will pass through this world-famous site adjacent the Nullarbor Cliffs as the season progresses.

Whale watching has become a popular activity for residents of Encounter Bay and visitors to more remote sites on SA’s far west coast.

We look forward to hearing more from Elizabeth and the SA Whale Centre as the season progresses.

Find out more at the SA Whale Centre’s website.

By Dan Monceaux

Dan Monceaux is a documentary filmmaker with a keen interest in marine biodoversity and conservation issues. He joined MLSSA in 2013 and served as Secretary from April-December 2014. Dan snorkels and has burning passions for underwater photography and citizen science.

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