Field Notes 2013
Laguna San Ignacio, Baja California, Mexico

March 27: "Many whales still on the lagoons....over 190 whales in the san ignacio lagoon at moment," came word from BajaEcotours.

March 22: The single whales leave the lagoon 5-6 weeks earlier than the cow/calf pairs, and the number of singles here is dropping! Compare the numbers and see the trend:

Date
Singles
Cow/Calf Pairs
Total
Mar 22
102
95
197
Mar 17
39
80
199
Mar 10
57
89
235
Mar 3
168
112
*392
Source: Laguna San Ignacio Ecosystem Science Program (lsiecosystem), based at Kuyima
Head researchers: Jorge Urban R., Ph.D., Steven L. Swartz, Ph.D., AlejandroGomez-Gallardo, Aaron Thode, Ph.D.

*A new record for gray whales in San Ignacio Lagoon!

March 2: 
We had a great first morning of whale watching. We were able to observe the whales feeding throughout the morning with bottle nose dolphin passing by the boat on numerous occasions. The afternoon whale watching was with a few curious cows and calfs circling around the boat while the rest of the laguna seemed to be splashing about in courtship with one another. We had the honor of Maldo as our boat driver!

We observed lots of spy hopping whales and had the privilege to play with a few passing by solo adults. Where one adult female would swim on her side, pretty much during the whole encounter. Where she would play hide and seek with us for about a half hour on and off between letting us pet her. Next, we found an extremely playful calf who is about 2 months old with the mother swimming playfully by. 
I was able to scratch along the lips and the calf opened his mouth to expose the balleen. (photo at right) What an amazing whale watching experience! —Christopher Match

Feb. 25, 2013: Today's official census numbers here:
Gray Whale Adults: 258
Gray Whale Calves:   90
Total Gray Whales: 348

"This is an incredible year and count with more whales coming into the lagoon as well as more calves still being born at the lagoon! On the windier whale watching segments we see more spy hopping and breaches. It's almost as if the whales utilize the fast currents with the winds to help them gain speed for the breaching and perhaps spy hopping to get a closer look at their surroundings."
—Christopher Match, Baja Ecotours

Feb. 17-21, 2013: "The news this week is that we have a new baby in town! His name is “Cucaracha.” You cannot help falling in love with him. He is playful, full of life and likes to interact with people, play with the boat and get on top of mum. He is so beautiful too, with very characteristic white/grey markings on the sides of his little body.

"We encounter a few mothers and babies friendly enough to play with us for a long time and let us touch them over and over again! They rolled on their backs and scratch their tummies with the boat! We got splashed so many times that as soon as we came back to camp, all of us had to change our clothes to dry ones! All worth it for sure! Especially when 3 mothers and their respective babies surrounded our boats and delight us with their breaching and playful behaviour… No words to describe the joy of the face of everyone!"—Christopher Match, Baja Ecotours

February 3, 2013: Today's official census numbers here:
Gray Whale Calves:   76
Gray Whale Adults:  108
Total Gray Whales:   184

January 23, 2013: "At the lagoon of San Ignacio we have over 48 calves born, and it's only January 23. This will truly be one amazing season at the lagoons of Baja, Mexico."
—Johnny Friday, Baja Ecotours

NOTE: As of January 28, here's the latest official count of whales at Laguna San Ignacio. Click to enlarge.

Official gray whale census at Laguna San Ignacio as of January 28, 2013

 

 

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Baby gray whale at Laguna San Ignacio
Photo: BajaEcotours
1-2 days old!
 
Whalewatacher touches  the whale's baleen.
Photo: Christopher Match
Touching Baleen!
 
Whalewaters visit the boneyard.
Photo: BajaEcotours
Boneyard Visit
 
Baby gray whale in tLaguna San Ignacio
Photo: BajaEcotours
Gray Whale Calf
 
Touching a gray whale from the tour boat in Laguna San Ignacio
Photo: BajaEcotours
Touching a Gray Whale
 
Touching a baby whale in Laugna San Ignacio
Photo: BajaEcotours
A Baby!
 

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