Weekly Report ~ February 13 – 19, 2023
Gray Whale Southbound Migration Transition Begins to Transition to Northbound!
Gray whales travel as much as 14,000 miles each year, migrating from their feeding to calving and mating grounds. The length of the whales’ migration can vary depending on where they begin, as their feeding ground covers hundreds of miles and whether they travel offshore or along the coast. As we transition from the gray whale southbound migration to the northbound migration, we are beginning to see a few northbound gray whales in singles and pairs off our coast. We saw several gray whales each day, but no southbound cow/calf pairs were seen this week. Early in the week, we saw several pods of offshore bottlenose dolphins ranging from about 15 to about 40 individuals. There were no common dolphin sightings for many days, but we ended the week with pods in the hundreds.
Our Wyland Art class students, with artists from as far away as Oklahoma, were treated to a megapod of long-beaked common dolphins only 4 miles off San Clemente. Sea lions and hundreds of sea birds were in this area, all feeding on the same fin bait. Seeing hundreds of dolphin feeding and interacting with other animals always makes an impression!