Still catching up on email backlog.
Re Edwin's message quoted here:
" This morning I had wonderful experience at Cape Solander on the southern
end of Botany Bay (a little south of Sydney). Not only was I watching
several Black-browed and Shy Albatross offshore from Cape Solander, but saw
3 magnificent Humpback Whales only about one kilometre away from the rocks.
One or two was seen "breaching" (with enormous splashes) and the whales
were also seen tail slapping, blowing, rolling, diving, flapping its fins
and tail etc. There were several small fishing boats metres away from them
and one fisherman did not realise how close it came behind from his boat. I
have never seen them so close to shore.
It reminds me of our wonderful whale watching experience some years ago -
off Perth. It was one of the earliest "official" whale-watching cruises
First, an adult male (?) came in close to the boat (about a 30-40-footer)
and checked us out, while we sat quietly watching. After a while, an adult
female came in after the male had temporarily moved away, followed some
10-15 minutes later by her calf. Both were extremely curious of us and
spent some time cruising around our boat obviously having a good look at
us. Eventually the calf moved away, but one of the adults stayed with us,
on a couple of occasions passing under the boat which, as a result, rocked
so strongly it threatened to roll on its side. This was scary, but
exhillerating, and we all survived it. The highlight was when one of the
adults, highly interested in us, reared right up out of the water within a
few meters of the side of our boat. It was so close we could clearly see
the barnacles that coated his underside, and we could see his "beady" eye
as he "stood" upright and side-on to us in the water. He was an immense,
incredibly impressive sight - unforgettable. Even the talkative tourists
were stopped mid-speech by this unbelievable and wonderful sight. We have
great photos to remind us, including 2 or 3 of the big male upright out of
the water, however, I don't need the photos as the image is still there
many years after in my mind.
I also recall a distant whale sighting during a field trip to the
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park (in south-west Western Australia (WA)).
It was at Bunkers Bay, near Yallingup (west of Busselton on WA's west
coast). With binoculars I observed two whales apparently "playing" by
throwing themselves high out of the water then crashing with a huge splash
back into the water. It was an impressive sight, even at a distance.
Not a bird story, I admit, but any wildlife is worth watching.
From: Karen Pearson <>
To: EDWIN VELLA <>;
Subject: Re: birding-aus Bird and Whale watching at Cape Solander near
Sydney 20th June 1999
Date: Monday, 21 June 1999 9:36
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