beaching dolphins


we spent a lot more time up at peron this summer with a second film crew trying to get footage of the dolphins beaching.  i talked a little about beaching when the first film crew was came, but basically beaching is when a dolphin is chasing fish close into shore and then traps the fish between itself and the beach.  it will then swim really fast and hydroplane out of the water, up onto the beach, grab the fish, and then slide back into the water.  it's a very cool behavior to see in real life.  if you can see them doing it.

we think dolphins beach on an incoming tide, or at least around high tide, but you never know when they might decide to do it.  and you never know how the weather will be, or if the mullet will be in.  that means that in order to film them doing it, you basically need to be on the beach, all day long, with lots of patience.

this is point peron from the boat.  some of us can hop off the boat and wait for beachers while others stay on the boat watching dolphins out away from shore.
 the other way to get to peron is by truck.  it's an hour and a half of off-roading through thick sand like this.  you don't want to drink your morning coffee before this ride! (it's very bouncy)
 once you get there by car, you hike down to the beach, and it's an incredible landscape.
 and once you're down on the beach.... you wait.  some days you wait all day long and never see a dolphin.  it can sometimes be boring, but usually there are lots of other things going on to check out.  like sea stars washing up that need to be thrown back out (unless they're already dead).
 or all the birds! there are so many birds at the point and they're fun to watch and take pictures of.  seagulls are so annoying and common, but get them in their element on a remote beach with other birds and they're actually pretty beautiful.
 another common bird in the bay is the shag.  here are some shags on the beach.  they are funny and quirky little guys.  they should have british accents.  "i think i'll go for a swim" "that sounds like a fine idea, shall we?"
 and sometimes while you're waiting, a big rainstorm comes!  it looks more ominous than it turned out to be.
 the beach ofter the rain was really pretty.
 and then guess what happened?  this amazing rainbow!  eric is out on that point under the rainbow looking for dolphins.
shark bay australia
 and THEN guess what happened.  double rainbow all the way! i've never seen a double rainbow, it was quite exciting.
point peron australia
for all of the waiting you sometimes get lucky.  the fish are there, the weather is right, and in comes a dolphin.  here is fred getting some footage!
 this is what beaching looks like.  cha cha is getting speed and beginning to hydroplane.
point peron
 and here she has got the fish and is gliding back into the water.
shark bay
 it isn't as exciting in photos as in real life or video.  if you're interested to see all of the action there's a very cool BBC movie that eric helped make a few years ago.  they got beautiful shots of the beaching plus lots of behind the scenes footage (eric and others on the beach).  here's the link, the beaching part starts at 8:28.

peron is really a beautiful spot in the world.  we're lucky to get to spend time there.  if only we could bring the girls! they would love it.
shark bay western australia
shark bay
^^heron at point peron^^ :)  one of my favorite pics from the summer.

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