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Monday, January 1, 2007

Dead Humpback Whale

George Riethof e-mailed me the above picture he took from his airplane yesterday of the dead whale. Like myself, George is an avid photographer. He takes some great shots of the Island from his airplane. Thanks for the picture, George!

I went to see the dead whale for the first time yesterday afternoon. It was washed up on Low Beach near the Loran Station. It is rapidly decomposing at this point. There are some bones from it on the beach around it. I think eventually it will break up as a result of the pounding surf. I'm hoping that when the people from the New England Aquarium were here, they were able to get some samples so we can learn how it died.

The past several weeks, I have noticed a huge amount of bait fish in the Boat Basin. I have never seen so much of it in all the years I've lived here and kept a boat in the basin. I'm not sure what kind of fish it is. Here's a picture I took on Sunday-

Can anyone ID these fish? If so, please do so in the comments section. There are several Loons which have taken up residency in the Boat Basin this year. They are feeding on the bait fish. If you go down to the area of Straight Wharf where all the bay scallop boats are docked, you will see them. I counted seven of them there last week. Sometimes you can see them diving under the water and feeding on the fish. Here's a picture of the Boat Basin Loons-

They all appear to be first year birds.

Only four guys went out scalloping today. This is way down from previous counts I've taken. I'm thinking that the guys that didn't go scalloping today partook of too many tankards full of their favorite spirit last night and were unable to make it to their boats early this morning. I'm sure they'll be back at it tomorrow drilling away.

The Marine Department was dispatched to a bay scallop vessel which was in need of a tow this afternoon at 3:30. The vessel was disabled just east of Abrams Point. The scalloper was able to get his engine started before the Marine Department arrived on scene. The scalloper made his way back to the Town Pier unaided and in good shape.

The weather this "Winter" still amazes me. Right now it's 51 degrees! It may even reach the mid sixties later in the week. I have never seen it this warm here. It feels more like June 1 than January 1. I would like to see it snow at least once before the Winter is over.


Anonymous said...

Nice shot of the loons. They are actually adults in winter plumage.

The fish are Sand Launce, I believe.

It has been record warm this year in many locations, but long-range models are showing a big-time change coming in late January. With relatively warm water in place, a semi-arctic air outbreak due around the 25th, will give us a good shot of ocean enhanced snowfall.


Martie said...

Thanks for the ID's, Blair. I need to find my bird book.....

Nantucket Flying said...

Stand by for some more aerials. I took a whole bunch of shots of the seals today on the way to/from the Vineyard. Someone with a little time on their hands should piece together my photos and count the seals. I'd have to guess I saw maybe 3000 adults and 1500 to 2000 babies out there. Just a guess. The seals were evenly distributed over every single inch of shoreline on Muskeget and the sandbar...amazing!