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Byron Bay: Brydes whales swim with surfers in incredible drone footage on Seven Mile Beach


Have a great time! Incredible drone footage reveals the moment two giant Bryde whales are making waves with surfers near Byron Bay

  • Daniel Cook from Sydney filmed two Bryde whales catching waves with surfers
  • The drone footage showed surfers avoiding the giant mammals
  • Whales and dolphins used the waves to drift into a school of fish
  • Mr Cook said it was "pretty special" to film whales, which he started out as a hobby

Two Bryde whales were filmed surfing on a popular beach near Byron Bay with surfers.

The 43-year-old Sydney photographer Daniel Cook used his drone to film the 12-meter whales from above on Seven Mile Beach near Lennox Head south of Byron on Wednesday.

Alongside the whales, each weighing 12 to 20 tons, a pod of dolphins chased a large school of baitfish while surfers caught waves overhead.

But eventually the whales decided to catch some waves for themselves and use the momentum to drive them into the school of fish.

A Bryde's whale catches a wave in a school of baitfish, which is the black part of the water. On Wednesday, a group of dolphins and surfers can be seen swimming on Seven Mile Beach near Lennox Head south of Byron Bay

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Cook said the filming of the whales was a "one in a million moment" that happened completely by accident.

& # 39; It was totally a coincidence. We were on a road trip to Byron last week and decided to head back to Lennox Head, ”he said.

“We looked at the surfers and saw a pod of dolphins, so my partner thought it would be a good idea to pick up the drone and film it.

"While I had the drone up, she called and said, 'There's a whale out there! "And the whale just came into the picture."

In Mr. Cook's footage, surfers had to avoid the surf whales, who lifted their tails and bodies above the surface of the water.

The two Bryde whales cut swaths through the school of fish in a frenzy of eating. Dolphins swim in the top left

The two Bryde's whales cut swaths through the school of fish in a frenzy. Dolphins swim in the top left

Despite the close calls, the photographer said everyone kept a safe distance and no one was injured.

"It was just amazing to see the surfers come into contact with the whales," said Cook.

“I don't think anyone touched the whales. Everyone was very aware of the dolphins and whales around them.

"I got footage of a surfer trying to catch a wave, but one of the whales undercut him so he had to let her go."

Mr Cook initially thought the marine mammals were minke whales, but experts have since told him they were Brydes whales (pronounced Broo-dus).

A Brydge whale undercuts a surfer's wave, forcing humans to give in as it approaches a school of fish, which is the dark spot in the water

A Brydge whale undercuts a surfer's wave, forcing humans to give in as it approaches a school of fish, which is the dark spot in the water

Mr Cook started drone photography four years ago to give him freedom after back surgery.

“It's something very special because it all started for me as a hobby. My partner bought me a drone after back surgery, ”he said.

“I couldn't move much, so a drone was just a means of getting out of the house and taking a few photos.

“Then it's one in a million to hold onto something like that. You couldn't plan something like that. To get this footage it's just luck. & # 39;

More of Mr Cook's ocean photography is available on his Instagram, The Drone DC.

Mr Cook (right) and his partner Emily (left). Emily bought Mr. Cook a drone after undergoing back surgery four years ago to get him out of the house. He said it was "quite special" to record amazing whale footage from his humble hobby

Mr Cook (right) and his partner Emily (left). Emily bought Mr. Cook a drone after undergoing back surgery four years ago to get him out of the house. He said it was "quite special" to record amazing whale footage from his humble hobby

WHAT ARE BRYDES WHALES?

  • Bryde whales are made up of two types of baleen whales and possibly a third type.
  • Bryde's whales vary in size but average 12 m in length, with the females being slightly longer than the males.
  • They usually weigh 12 to 20 tons, but larger specimens of 25 tons have been found in the wild.
  • In South Africa, male Bryde whales average 13.1 m long while females are 13.7 m long.
  • In Japan they are slightly smaller, with males averaging 11.9 m and women 12 m.
  • The mammals are smaller sea whales, but larger than minke whales, for which they are often mistaken.
  • Like other whales, Bryde's whales feed on a wide variety of fish, planktonic crustaceans, and cephalopods.
  • The population can range up to 90,000 to 100,000 animals worldwide, with two thirds living in the northern hemisphere.
  • They live in all oceans from 40 ° south to 40 ° north.
  • Some populations of Bryde whales migrate with the seasons, moving away from the equator in summer and towards the equator in winter.
  • Other populations of Bryde's whales are resident, which means they don't migrate.
  • They are named after the Norwegian consul in South Africa, Johan Bryde, who built the country's first whaling station.
  • Bryde is a Norwegian name pronounced "Broo-du". Hence Bryde's whale is pronounced "Broo-dus whale".

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