It's time to head to Tonga. As always, there's a last-minute rush to get everything done and to triple-check my bags to minimise the chances of leaving something behind.
Besides having lots of fun and seeing friends while I'm Down Under, I'll be concentrating on my humpback whale mother/ calf pair ID effort again this year.
I received reports of baby whale sightings at the end of June, which is early viz. the "average" timing, such as it exists. I'm hoping that the early sightings auger well for this season, and that we'll have a bumper crop of juveniles.
In the past three seasons (2008, 2009, 2010), the ID count has been 16, 31 and 24 unique mother/ calf pairs.
Humpback whale mother and calf ID project, Kingdom of Tonga
If you're going to visit Tonga this year, please consider helping me out with the ID effort. As I have in previous seasons, I'll publish all the collated information online to be freely available for anyone interested, and ascribe full credit where credit is due.
I've set out a brief summary of the information that I need in this file: Tonga Humpback Whale Calf ID Summary (3.1MB).
Here are links to previous summaries:
2010 Humpback Whale Calf ID Summary
2010 Humpback Whale Calf ID Google Map
2009 Humpback Whale Calf ID Summary
2009 Humpback Whale Calf ID Google Map
2008 Humpback Whale Calf ID Summary
Finally...if you're joining me in Tonga, see you soon. Get ready to have the time of your life!