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Whales in winter 1

A bright and sunny winter day, ideal for whale watching at Middleton, about 80 km south of Adelaide, South Australia. In this series of images, two females are nursing very recently born calves within 100m of the shore.

Each year in June at the start of our winter, female Southern Right whales arrive off the southern coast of the Australian continent after travelling nearly 6000 km from Antarctica. In certain bays, long-favoured for the shelter they provide, pregnant females give birth. Later, males arrive and whale watchers may be entertained by displays of breaching and tail slapping. The breeding cycle begins again before the whales return south by the end August or early September.

See also my gallery: "Whales in winter 2" with sightings made off the Gold Coast, Queensland:
http://www.pbase.com/merlotadl/whales2

For further whale information: http://www.victor.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=437

Click on an image for a larger view. Thanks for looking.