December 1st marked the beginning of another year of the Grey Whale Census and Behavoir Project. No Grays have been official added to the migration tally yet this year, but several have been spotted in the area before December 1st. The census takes place at the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center during daylight hours, rain or shine, until May 15th.
2007 marked one of the best Blue Whale seasons in southern California. (This was in stark contrast to last year, which was certainly disappointing, with whale watching boats out of Santa Barbara failing to see Blue Whales for days on end.) 3-5 Blue Whales are still being spotted in the area, including off of Pt. Vicente and Portuguese Bend this week.
Other species spotted this week include 3 Fin Whales (observed lunge feeding), Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins (with calves) & Common Dolphins.
Weather for on-shore observation will be good today (and probably pretty cool with the huge waves) but dodgy later this week with the coming rain. However, naturalists have observed that Gray Whales often come closer to shore after the first rains of the year (the influx of fresh water may be useful for removing parasites). So look sharp if you’re close to the shore later this weekend.
See daily updates from the Gray Whale Census here.