Autumn is well and truly in the air, with the Noongar season of Djeran here.
We have been seeing a break in the hot weather with our cool antarctic winds blowing! We should start seeing flying ants and dewy mornings to start our day. On land, Sheoaks and Banksias start readying their flowers and cones acting as a rich food source for small mammals and birds before the wet winter ahead. On the water, pods of maternal sperm whales migrate as large numbers of mothers and calves utilise the rich feeding grounds of Bremer to take stock before the winter.
Many of the animals in the canyon will be heading into their first winter. Little Dundette, a 3 or so month old orca calf is yet to experience the southern ocean in full force! Last year the Albany swell bouy reached 15 metres during a winter storm. Today we had a 1.2 metre swelll…and she was showing off her surface active skills!
We also witnessed a young New Zealand Fur Seal (Recent name change to Long nosed fur seal) and a scalloped Hammerhead shark!
The distinct angled blows of a lone sperm whale caught our attention, but the whale was quick to get back down for more food, raising its tail for a quick descent to the deep dark trenches.
We aren’t allowed to have favourite orca but by now you would all be aware that Nibbles and Digby’s pod are a stand out in my eyes.
This group of eleven are always up to something! These orca was snacking on small red squid, leaving leftovers for the awaiting pelagic birds. The tiny calf Little Dundette had a remora stuck to her belly and she was VERY clearly showing it off to us. Whether it was itchy or maybe she was proud of her little pet, either way back flops and close passes were coming time and time again.
As the red flowers bloom on land for Djeran, we saw the red squid in the sea!