So, I’m driving into town late yesterday afternoon to get my hair cut. As I’m turning at a bend in the road to get to a T-junction, I see something splashing furiously in the estuary close to shore. It’s not a windsurfer, a kite surfer, a rambunctious dog, or a human that I can tell. It looks like a HUGE fish — perhaps a shark or dolphin? A couple of walkers see it too and stop to watch. I turn onto the main road, park, grab my phone (my camera was at home), watch for traffic, then run across the road and down an embankment to get closer.
It’s a dolphin! Actually two dolphins, but only one was herding/hunting in among the black swans. The other stayed out a bit, though I saw it’s dorsal fin few times. It was high tide, but the estuary is fairly shallow so the water where it was hunting was probably not much more than a metre (yard) deep. It swam through the flight of swans, causing them to scatter and get out of the way.
I took as many photos as I could (almost into the sun, and with the pressure of a looming appointment time), and downloaded them this morning to see what I was able to capture. I only got one clear photo of the dolphin splashing, but it’s proof I really did see them ;-) The rest of the photos are available in full size here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157650554785675
What’s so remarkable about this for me is that I didn’t know that dolphins came that far up the estuary. In the map below, (1) represents where I *know* they hang out, (2) is where I saw them (some 4 km into the estuary from where they hang out in the Indian Ocean), and (3) is where I saw them again on the drive home from the shopping centre about two hours later — they were still there, again with one hanging around and the other making a BIG splash (I didn’t get any photos of this second sighting). A couple of years ago I saw a couple of dolphins in the estuary near where the ‘C’ is for ‘Old Coast Road’ on the map, near the ‘Bunbury Golf Club’ label, but I’ve never seen them this far up.