This photo taken an hour earlier than yesterday’s post shows a humpback whale fluking or lobtailing. Lobtailing is the act of a whale lifting its fluke out of the water and then bringing it down onto the surface of the water hard and fast in order to make a loud slap. Large whales tend to lobtail by positioning themselves vertically downwards into the water and then slapping the surface by bending the tail stock. They are likely to slap several times in a single session. The sound of a lobtail can be heard underwater several hundred metres from the site of a slap. This has led to speculation amongst scientists that lobtailing is, like breaching, a form of non-vocal communication. Also some suggest that lobtailing in humpback whales is a means of foraging. The hypothesis is that the loud noise causes herring to become frightened, thus tightening their school together, making it easier for the humpback to feed on them.
Harbour seals are constantly seen on the rocks enjoying the sun and as a guide we forget that this is not a normal site for our guests. It is most often the first marine wildlife we view on a whale watching day. We make a point of stopping by the rocks that are used by the harbour seals as it gives a comparison for later in the day and tomorrow’s post…Visit our Blog