Minke in March

By , March 30, 2013

Yesterday, I’d just returned to the cabin with a load of firewood. I took it out to dry on our “Power Point,” the ridge of rock that houses our wind generator and solar panels.

The still air carried sound from the far shore of Lynn Canal, where the sea lions held forth, as they do every day on their rowdy haul out. Then I heard a whale surface and blow.

That’s always exciting here—as often as it happens, we never grow tired of it. This one, however, was different. The exhalation sounded like a humpback whale, but the dorsal fin that appeared was sharper and higher.

I’d spotted a minke whale.

minke whale

That tiny, blurry speck is pretty exciting evidence that a minke whale has returned to our neighborhood (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

The last time we saw a minke, a relatively rare visitor to this part of Lynn Canal, was in 2011. We watched for them all last year, but didn’t see any. Now, at about the time the herring will start moving into the area, it’s back.

Generally, minke sightings are brief, but this time I saw it surface 4-5 times, and even got the shot above, cropped very close to make it nearly big enough to see. I’ve never managed to get a photo of one before. Usually they show up suddenly and briefly, and there’s no time to pull out a camera and get it pointed in the right direction. As crappy as this photo is, I feel lucky to have gotten it!

2 Responses to “Minke in March”

  1. neighbor says:

    Awesome! We saw one, once- 2011 as well. So cool!

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    It’s kind of a reward for the carefully observant, isn’t it?

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