Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | April 6, 2010

Spring has arrived!

The spring is definitely on its way! The sun is warm during the days and the nights are turning white. Seagulls are chatting away sitting on top of ice bergs, fulmars have returned to cruise above the wave tops and the first strings of eider ducks have emerged. We are also seeing (and smelling) copepods just at the surface which is a clear indication that the algae spring bloom is developing. The whales are still singing although not as much than earlier in the season and they seem to be eating as well, sometimes skimming the surface and other times performing fluke up dives which are often associated with feeding behaviour in bowhead whales. This gives us a great opportunity to photograph their tail flukes for our ID catalogue and the amount of variation in the color patterns on their tails and bodies is astonishing. Bowhead whales are not just black with a white chin patch as drawn in many biology books.

Colourful flukes! Photo: C. Ilmoni

Today Mads and Camilla saw a mysterious cloud or brown and orange substance that could be a dropping of a bowhead whale?

3 m long whale dropping? Photo: C. Ilmoni

Later this afternoon we spotted something blowing close to the shore, something all too small to be a normal bowhead whale. We were wondering if we were looking at an adult hooded seal or a bearded seal until we got closer and saw a perfect bowhead whale just in miniature size. The arfivik mikisoq did not spend too much time at the surface but Camilla managed to get a picture of it with an ice plate just in front which will be suitable for size reference and we are eager to find out the size of this whale.

Arfivik mikisoq. Photo: C. Ilmoni



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