Bryde’s Whales off of Bangkok
Coke Smith just sent me this excellent account of a trip to see Bryde’s Whales off of Bangkok. This is quite a hard species to see in many places and I had no idea they were in Thailand. Absolutely awesome pictures too.
Great photos! Are they present year-round? Also, which ones are they? The species is being split into B. brydei and B. edeni.
Thanks! These are B. edeni – the ridges on the rostrum are one of the key characters for the different species. Evidently they are there year round although they do seem to “disappear” for a couple months. They believe they are still in the Gulf of Siam – just a bit further south and the whale charters cannot find them. But they do seem to be residents. I have spotted Bryde’s whales a couple other times off southern Africa and good images were next to impossible, but the schoals of anchovies in the Gulf evidently allow them to exhibit this outstanding lunge-feeding behavior on a near daily basis. Although we were lucky to have such an outstanding day this was by no means unique, according to our guide.
AFAIK, both brydei and edeni have the three ridges (unlike all other whales). The ways to differentiate between the two are not well worked out yet, except that edeni is smaller.
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Coke, fantastic report and photos! My understanding was always that Bryde’s whales were extremely difficult to photograph.