August 2015 Whale Watching in Monterey Bay
August carried on from where July left off, with an abundance of wildlife arriving in the bay adding to what was already here.
There were so many humpbacks near to Moss Landing that we were having to go slowly and carefully nearly all the time to make sure we didn’t disturb them as they dined on masses of anchovies.
The humpbacks were not the only species in town for the anchovy fest; sea lions, common dolphins, thousands of sooty shearwaters (that made their way here from New Zealand), elegant terns and many other bird species are here to dine on the small schooling fish, with the common murres being a particular favorite as fathers and their chicks loudly call out to each other.
When the anchovies neared the surface, we were treated to one of the most amazing spectacles, surface lunge feeding, where the whales emerge vertically out of the ocean with their mouths wide open gulping down gallons of fish.
The humpbacks were also prone to enjoying themselves between bouts of feeding, resulting in lots of breaching, slapping and other active behaviors that make for great viewing from High Spirits.
Not to be left out, killer whales made a few appearances towards the end of the month, preying on dolphins and sea lions.
Naturalist Kate has been keeping track of the different humpback whales we’ve been seeing and we’re easily over 100 individual whales for the season, with “new” whales continuing to be identified on a daily basis.
The whale watching is truly spectacular at the moment with no signs that it’s going to slow down any time soon, it’s a great time to #getonaboat