Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whales at Victor Harbour

This weekend Maryann and I headed down to Victor Harbour, on the Fleurieu Peninsular, south of Adelaide. Encounter Bay is a popular site for watching Southern Right Whales. They spend part of the winter here when the Southern Ocean is too cold for their calves. During the whale watching season, there is an information centre in Victor Harbour where they give you the latest information on sightings.
On Saturday there were a couple of whale sightings off Granite Island, which is linked to Victor by a causeway.
A popular way to get to Granite Island is by horse-drawn tram, which also gets you at eye level with any birds perched on street lighting along the way. This is an adult Pacific Gull. As we approached the island there were some Little Pied Cormorants loafing on the rocks. Offshore, I only saw one whale blow a long way off, but there were good numbers of birds flying by, predominantly Silver Gulls and also a few Australian Gannets, but nothing close enough to photograph. (This Gannet was taken a couple of years ago in New Zealand) The next spot to try for whales was a few Km east towards Goolwa, at Basham Beach. We did see a couple of whales here, but the weather wasn't good and this is the best of a bad bunch of photos.
Back in 2003 I was lucky to spend a fair amount of time in South Africa on business, so I have supplemented this post with some photos of Southern Right Whales I took on a pelagic seabird trip off the Cape of Good Hope.


  1. Hi Tony, I'd forgotten what big conks, sorry what big fat bills those Pacific Gulls have. Lovely Whale photos, something I'd love to see one day. I did see Grey Whales off California, but they hardly showed above the water.

  2. Hello Tony,fantastic whale Images. Loved the Pacific Gull shot,brilliant stuff.

  3. Thanks Jen, Thanks John, It was a good day out - Maryann's first whales so she enjoyed it. We're of to Cairns later this year and hope that the Humpbacks are still around, though I think we'll be a couple of weeks late.