This week’s photo, taken February 15, 2016 from the pier in Edmonds, WA, features the part of a HUMPBACK WHALE that you see last when the whale begins its dive.
On Monday, weather conditions were downright crummy at the Edmonds pier. Visibility was poor, the rain was constant, and thanks to the gusts of wind, the rain was blowing sideways. As a result, my spotting scope, camera, binoculars and I all got wet, even though I was standing underneath one of the shelters on the pier.
Not surprisingly, it was a slow morning for birding. Yet, as I began to question my sanity for showing up on such a lousy weather day, fairly close to shore a large spray of moisture shot up in the air. A HUMPBACK WHALE was surfacing right in front of me, and so I immediately did the logical thing: I suspended bird-watching efforts and became a whale-watcher instead.
I’ve seen a few other Humpbacks in the Puget Sound during the past couple of years, but none as close as this one. The large marine mammal, a mere 150 – 200 yards from shore, took another 3-4 breaths, then rounded its back (hence the name ‘Humpback’), slowly lifted its tail completely out of the water and disappeared below the water’s surface.
20 minutes later, it surfaced again, announcing its presence with another blast of spray, followed by 3-4 lesser sprays. Then it hunched its back, lifted its tail and headed down under once again.
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