MK and I decided to drive over to Flagler Beach last Sunday. Several whales have been seen recently – one the week before from the pier. We knew the chance we’d spot one was very small, but it’s a pretty place for sunrise and the restaurant on the pier serves a decent breakfast!
We set off at “o-dark-thirty” and arrived before dawn. I spent some time making photos on the beach and when it was light enough, we went up on the pier to scout.
North Atlantic Right Whales are among the most endangered whales in the world. There are only about 450 left. In addition to deaths from ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement, their birth rate seems to be declining. They migrate south from New England to the warm waters off Florida to mate and give birth. Unfortunately, there were no new calves spotted last year during the whole 2017 – 2018 season.
Fishing trawler “Miss Hope” at daybreak near the pier
So it was pretty exciting when the first calf was spotted this year! (News Journal article no longer available on line.)
Humpback Whales are also seen off our coast, although they’re usually further out than the Right Whales, which seem to stick closer to shore.
We ate breakfast and then drove to a couple more spots on the beach. We knew before we left that day that our chances of seeing whales were slim. But we all know our chances are zero if we never look. And although we came up empty, it sure was a nice morning and worth the drive.
Here’s more info on Florida whales:
- Guide to Norther Right Whale watching in Florida: https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/things-to-do/outdoors-nature/northern-right-whales-florida.html
- Right Whale Volunteer Sighting Network Team Handbook (PDF): http://www.aswh.org/TeamHBook2019.pdf
- Whale migration: https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/health/2019/01/03/whale-migration/2470945002/
- Second 2019 Right Whale calf spotted off Florida: (Cape Cod Times no longer available on line.)
- Third 2019 Right Whale calf spotted off north Florida: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/third-right-whale-calf-spotted-1.4984202
I’ve collected more photos from Flagler Beach in this album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157675598379207
You can view whale photos I’ve made here: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=8231395%40N04&sort=date-taken-desc&text=whale&view_all=1
And MK has many whale images in her Flickr stream.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2019, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved