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Thread: cetaceans off Sydney, early October 2011

  1. #1
    Storm-Petrel
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    Jul 2011
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    Sydney, NSW, Australia
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    cetaceans off Sydney, early October 2011

    Cetacean diversity has been interesting off Sydney lately. 8 species have been seen in the last 2 weeks from the Halicat during scheduled pelagics, private charter pelagics, Uni course charters and whale-watching trips. The water has been 17-19 degrees C, mostly <18.

    Dwarf Minke Whale: newly weaned juveniles (alone and c 3 m long) closely approaching boat near sea cliffs on 17 September and 1 October; single individuals offshore on 8 and 16 October.

    Humpback Whale: heaps every trip; max 25 on 9 Oct.

    Pygmy Killer Whale: 30 on 9 Oct close to boat for extended period, mid shelf.

    Rissos Dolphin: c 10 offshore on 16 October

    Pantropical Spotted Dolphin: c. 100 offshore on 5 Oct (many with fresh, deep cookie-cutter shark bites).

    Common Dolphin: c 50 inshore on 9 Oct. c 300+ midshelf on 9 Oct

    Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphin: c 100 midshelf on 9 Oct

    Coastal Bottlenosed Dolphin: c 20 near seacliffs on 9 Oct (1 female on her back at surface to avoid amorous males). c 50 inshore on 15 Oct; c100 inshore on 16 Oct.

  2. #2
    Administrator
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    Thanks David.

    Over recent years, I've noticed quite a difference in the numbers of cetaceans that are seen off Sydney compared to what we see off Wollongong. Rissos Dolphins, for example, seem to be common for Sydney trips, whereas, I can only remember 1 sighting over the past few years for Wollongong.

    Any thoughts on why this may be the case? Could it simply be the difference in the vessels each trip uses?

    Cheers,
    Brook

  3. #3
    Administrator
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    I think I spoke to soon. Yesterdays Wollongong trip had Common Oceanic Dolphin's, Humpbck Whales and, surprise, suprise, Risso's Dolphin's.

    We had several pods of Risso's around the boat, probably 30+ in all.

  4. #4
    ... and the Sunday trip had a pod of Pygmy Killer Whales! (plus Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins, Short-beaked Common Dolphins, again Risso's Dolphins and a great Humpback show)

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