Whale Watch: June 4, 2014

Today I was out on The Indian out of Redondo Beach, not as a naturalist, but as a paying customer, with one of my daughters’ best friend and her sister.  It’s not exactly a great time of year to see whales.  The grays have finished their migration, and although we’ve seen some blues, fins and humpbacks around, they don’t seem to be out in any numbers that makes seeing them probable.

A couple days ago there were some Orca sighted by Harbor Breezes heading south. I half expected Newport Landing or Dana Wharf to report seeing them today, but so far no luck.

We didn’t see any large whales on The Indian along Palos Verdes peninsula, but we did run into a rather hefty size pod of long beaked common dolphin:

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this picture really doesn’t do justice to the sheer numbers, as all those little dark ripples in the upper left are also dolphin.

They seemed pretty happy to ride along with the boat, and were very vocal.  We observed quite a bit of mating behavior, as well as some mother/calf interactions.

I took a quick video of some of the dolphins swimming along our bow:

 

Even though we didn’t see any big whales, Marj and her sister seemed pretty happy with the trip.

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When we came to the marine mammal barge, one young sea lion had a yellow tag, and was marked with the number 517, indicating it had been a rescue and release.

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He looks pretty fat and happy.

We’ve had some issues with sea lion mortality here, especially with younger sea lions, due to a toxic algae bloom.  There is a very good article and video on Huffington Post’s website from April dealing with this: Sea Lions In California Are Dying From A Toxic Algae That Ravages Their Brains

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