tisdag 28 december 2010
Killer Whales and Humpback Whales
Now, during late autumn and winter, large amounts of Norwegian spring spawning herring/sill/sild have migrated towards the coast of Northern Norway, and with the herring killer whales/späckhuggare/spekkhogger and humpback whales/knölval/knølhval have arrived and are now feasting on herring along the coast. As a marine biologist, I went south (to the area around Andøya in the county Nordland where several sightings had been made), to collect photo-ID pictures of the whales to be able to identify the individuals and learn more about their ecology. Already in the morning on the first day the characteristic blows of humpbacks could be seen far out in the fjord. With the help of my good friend and nature photographer Espen Bergersen and a local fisherman (thank you so much for your help Jann!), we went out at sea and found a large flock of humpback whales feeding together with killer whales in the area outside Dverberg. From land, a minke whale/vikval/vågehval was also observed. The most spectacular observations have been made from land since the whales use the land to trap the herring and are therefore feeding very close to land, so this is an exceptional opportunity to go whale watching from land, and thus, not disturb these otherwise vulnerable animals. If operators and private persons decide to go out at sea, remember to follow the guidelines for how to approach and behave around whales. http://www.ocean-sounds.com/eng/contact/ueber/wwf_oceansounds_hvalsafari-retningslinjer_2008_small/
Here are some pictures from a fantastic day in Andfjorden in mid-winter.
Two humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) together