Seabird and Whale Trip to Jeffrey's Ledge
Newburyport Whale Watch/Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats
July 6, 2009

Various photos from a very nice day on the water!

Greater Shearwater shearing
Greater Shearwater

Greater Shearwater taking off

Greater Shearwater taking off

Greater Shearwater portrait

Sooty and Greater shearwaters flying in formation
Greater and Sooty shearwaters

Sooty, Greater, and Cory's shearwaters
And a Cory's Shearwater in the background

Sooty Shearwater afloat
Sooty Shearwater

Sooty Shearwater preparing to fly

Sooty Shearwater taking off

Two immature Northern Gannets
Lots of Northern Gannets, including these two hitching a ride

Wilson's Storm-Petrels
Well over 4000 Wilson's Storm-Petrels for the day

Flying Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Feeding Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Feeding Wilson's Storm-Petrel

Feeding Wilson's Storm-Petrel

The stars of the show were the Humpback Whales, especially the two females bubble-feeding right next to the boat!

Bubble cloud
The whales blow clouds or curtains of bubbles underwater to confuse or concentrate schools of fish

Humpbacks bubble-feeding
and then rise through the fish, mouths agape

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding
They close their mouths, trapping the fish and water within the huge cavity
created by the expanded throat pleats.

Humpbacks bubble-feeding

Humpbacks bubble-feeding
And then force out the water through their baleen plates, retaining the fish

Humpbacks bubble-feeding
Another view of the bulging, pleated underside, complete with barnacles

Humpbacks bubble-feeding - fish
You could see the fish trying to escape.

fish
A whale needs one heck of a lot of these tiny fish in a day!

But, as we all know, what goes in must come out -

Humpback Whale scat
whether from a Humpback,

Sooty Shearwater scat
or a Sooty Shearwater.

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