Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gray Whales at the Klamath River

On our way to Klamath, California we stopped at a visitor center.  Along with brochures we received the news that a Gray Whale and her calf had been feeding in the Klamath for two or three weeks near one of the campgrounds.  Was it the one where we had reservations?
You're looking the wrong way!
 Yes!  The whales were swimming up and down in a circuit of about a tenth of a mile, ending in front of the campground.

It is hard to get good photos of whales.  They tend to look like an amorphous blob and are about the same color as the water on a gray day.  As with all animal photography, it is good if you can get the eye and here I did.
At times they were on the surface to breath.
Then they would submerge and be invisible for several minutes.
Gray whales are bottom feeders.  They feed in shallow water, rolling on their side to scoop mud off the bottom and then forcing the mud through their baleen with their long, strong tongue.  Then they lick the small tube worms and crustaceans off the baleen and scoop up some more.
The calf came up and briefly rested its head on the mother's back.  It gave a good view of the mouth, the eye at the corner of the mouth and the blowholes.

Find more watery views at Watery Wednesday, hosted for us by 2sweetnsaxy.

If you are nearby and the whales are still there, here is a link to a map of the viewing area.  Only registered campers are allowed in the campground but there was good viewing from the road.

More information about gray whales.

23 comments:

Diane AZ said...

Wow, fantastic sighting, great post!

Gaelyn said...

Awesome sightings!

Sylvia K said...

Oh, how fun!! A terrific, interesting post for the day! Wow! what a wonderful sighting indeed! Enjoy your day, Martha!

Sylvia

forgetmenot said...

How exciting and what a special treat for you. Right place at the right time! Thanks for sharing your experience. Mickie:)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Those are great. Lucky you the RV got hung up. Long ago we lucked into seeing some close up like this at Patrick's Point. Maybe someday again.

aka Penelope said...

Very impressive photos of the whales, especially the magnificent and very large eye, Martha! And what a lucky break it was to see such creatures during your trip. I wonder if they were looking at you, too. :))

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Incredible pics.

Karen said...

Of fabulous! What a treat.

ewok1993 said...

excellent timing, fantastic shots.

Riet said...

Oh wow, that must be wo nderful to see them in person.

SquirrelQueen said...

Wow, great shots. I love the one where you caught the eye. That is a beautiful area around the Klamath River.

Judy said...

Incredible shots! They were really close to the shore! You were so lucky!!!

Janie said...

Wow, great photos, and what a wonderful opportunity to view the gray whales. Love the last pic with the baby's head on mama's back.

James said...

Amazing! Great shots! It must be wonderful to see whales in the wild. I've only seen them at Sea World and Marine Land. :)

Linda Reeder said...

How fortunate you were to see whales!

Mama Zen said...

Wow!

Joyful said...

How fortuitous to be able to capture these photos on your stop.

Ms. Becky said...

oh, I've never seen a whale. you're so blessed to have been in this place at this time to see the miracle. you got off some great shots too.

Ann said...

you and I are lucky, we can sight whales, the sad thing is sometimes they beach.

I was fortunate not to live behind such bars, LOL. We had the option of living in a High Rise Condo with elevators, or a low rise 4 to 5 storeys where I had to climb the stairs. I didn’t want to be stuck in a elevator if it broke.

In deed, my 60 something friends were stuck in an elevator for 6 hours. In another case, when they were fixing the elevators, it was either a lock in or lock out.They gave the notification, on Sunday, we are fixing the elevator from10 am to 5 pm, at this time , you either stay out or stay in.

Barb said...

I'm thrilled just to see your photos, Martha! Good photography!

EG Wow said...

How exciting! Lucky you to have reservations for the right campground. :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my gosh - that is so wonderful -- as wonderful as I'd hoped your experience would be!!! What a perfect example of serendipity for you..

Have you had further news of the whales?

That's so exciting -- your pictures turned are great.

Carly said...

an amazing thing to see in real life! Great pictures too. I have such a hard time capturing marine animals with the camera.