Whales captivate enquiring minds
It’s been rain, rain and more rain this week in the Marlborough Sounds. As it poured and many of us kept wrapped up indoors, life carried on as usual for the wildlife. Dusky dolphins have been the main species enjoying the Sounds with small pods of four to six sighted from The Grove all the way out to Motuara Island.
These gorgeous striped dolphins have been quietly feeding on winter’s fish buffet, ensuring the younger pod members put on the weight needed to survive the challenges of the ocean.
The bottlenose dolphins have continued to charm all those they encounter and have been travelling further afield. Heading around Cape Jackson they have spent a lot of time in Pelorus and Queen Charlotte sounds.
The little blue penguins are also feeding intensely, putting on the winter weight they will need to get them through the breeding and moulting seasons.
But what’s most exciting at this time of year is What a sight: Those who joined the Whale Exploration Tour on Sunday went up to the whale spotting lookout and gazed out to the Cook Strait. the passage of whales in Cook Strait.
These majestic giants are migrating north to tropical waters and many of them pass right on our back doorstep.
Humpback whales are the most common species sighted but southern right, sperm and blue whales are also seen.
Sightings are recorded as part of an annual study – The Cook Strait Whale Survey run by the Department of Conservation and OMV New Zealand.
Whales are spotted from a lookout by a skilled team of former whalers turned conservationists and once found at sea, skin samples are taken by a team of scientists on the water.