Jay Borden spends his summers on Outdated Harbor in Vinalhaven and says it’s a fantastic spot for viewing and photographing wildlife, particularly birds and marine mammals.
On Wednesday, Borden loved a deal with as he was consuming his morning espresso.
“I used to be looking on the harbor, which hasn’t but stuffed up with its full complement of lobster boats this early within the season,” Borden stated. “A splashing about 200 yards off caught my eye, after which a dorsal fin.”
He figured it should be a harbor porpoise making the rounds within the harbor, which is much less widespread within the harbor then out within the sound.
“However then I noticed the dorsal pause and simply float in place for a second or two. Not a porpoise,” Borden stated.
He grabbed his digital camera and used the viewfinder to zoom in on the thing. It was, in truth, a whale.
“Small, perhaps 20 toes in size, however unmistakably a whale,” Borden stated, “and after watching a bit longer, unmistakably a minke.”
Borden soaked within the uniqueness of the looks because the whale swam nearer to the shore, then began crisscrossing the harbor. It will typically circle in a small nook of the bay lower than 50 yards off shore, in maybe 15 toes of water.
Borden put his digital camera to work, taking pictures and video of the whale. He finally needed to head off to an appointment on the town, however the whale remained till early night.
“I really feel prefer it was an unlimited privilege to see it,” Borden stated of the minke sighting. “Asking across the neighborhood, buddies who’ve lived right here for 80 years or extra have by no means seen one right here.”
He even surveyed a neighbor, Van, a lobsterman in his late 80s. He needed to see it to consider it.
“Nicely suh, it’s a whale all proper,” the person stated after viewing the photographic and video proof. “Have a look at that blowhole.”
Borden, thrilled by the prospect of with the ability to share the fruits of his efforts, was form sufficient to ship alongside a video of the minke whale that he ready.
In response to the Maine Division of Marine Sources, minke whales are the smallest of our bigger whale species behind the finback, the endangered North Atlantic proper and the humpback whales.
Minke whales can attain as much as 30 toes lengthy and weigh as a lot as 18,000 kilos. They eat largely small education fish akin to sand lance, herring, younger mackerel and krill, but additionally may devour single discarded fish.
Final month, a minke whale died after washing up on the shore at Lengthy Sands Seaside in York. The species has been beneath nearer examine over the last a number of years as scientists attempt to decide the reason for minke whale Uncommon Mortality Occasions (UME) from Maine all the way down to South Carolina.
In response to the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there have been 148 minke whale strandings on the Atlantic coast since 2017. Of these, 31 have occurred in Maine, second solely to 54 in Massachusetts.
Scientists nonetheless aren’t positive what’s inflicting the UME’s, however the numbers have been declining barely over the past three years. There have been eight such incidences up to now in 2023.
The excessive was 32 in 2018.
These dynamics make Jay Borden’s prolonged sighting extra thrilling for all of us who get the possibility to observe the video. Thanks, Jay, for sharing your video!
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