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Old 03-13-2019, 11:46 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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March 14th, 2019: Quobba Station Picnic

Red Bluff on Quobba Station in Western Australia where everything larger than your pinky toe wants to kill you...
... and everything bigger than your fist can.

If you go down to the waves today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the waves today
Better watch out for these guys!

All bronze whaler sharks that is
Will gather there for certain
Because today's the day the
Whaler sharks have their picnic!

Quote:
When I arrived with my family, the first thing I noticed was this huge bait ball. I could see from the camp that there were also a few sharks cruising through the bait fish. I was stuck between trying to set up camp for my family and also trying to capture this amazing moment.


Quote:
After about 30 minutes of trying to set up camp, I had to quit and fly the drone. Once I got the drone in the air I was amazed at just how many sharks there were. Over 200 bronze whaler sharks feeding on the bait ball.


Quote:
The surf was pumping and it was awesome to see. I filmed the sharks for about one hour when I noticed the baitfish got pushed in very close to the shore. I could then see some big sharks close to the waves.


Quote:
It was then when I decided to land the drone and pick up my big camera and lens to try and see if I could get a shot of the sharks from the beach. The shore break was quite large so the first wave came and I fired off a test shot to get my exposure and focus right.
The very next wave rose up right on the shore and sure enough, there were 2 big sharks in excess of 2 meters in the wave. These sharks almost got washed onto the beach.


Quote:
I snapped away and ended up with 3 of my favorite shots. I stayed and waited for a further 2 hours and did not see them in that close again. It was awesome to watch as the surf was also very good and a lot of surfers surfing very closely without any problems.


In case you're wondering the Bronze Whaler Shark is bitey, but goes for the easiest meal.
No, they are not Dolphins.

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Old 03-14-2019, 06:29 AM   #2
glatt
 
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That's very cool.

I never heard of a bait ball before. Is that just a school of fish?

Last edited by glatt; 03-14-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:59 AM   #3
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Well, glatt, glad you asked.

"A bait ball, or baitball, occurs when small fish swarm in a tightly packed spherical formation about a common centre. It is a last-ditch defensive measure adopted by small schooling fish when they are threatened by predators."

It's spelled "centre" and is probably spoken with an intellectual sounding British or Australian accent, so you know it's legitimate.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:45 AM   #4
xoxoxoBruce
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Note the last picture on the right, there's a hole in the bait ball where a shark has situated him/herself. The bait ball moves like a murmuration of birds.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:07 PM   #5
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It's spelled "centre" and is probably spoken with an intellectual sounding British or Australian accent, so you know it's legitimate.
Seems cromulent.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:38 AM   #6
Diaphone Jim
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Do other birds besides starlings form murmurations?
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:08 AM   #7
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I watched some sea-life doc on NetFlix where they were showing the bait balls of sardines, I think it was. They were showing the various fish taking advantage of the ball of fish. Urrbody was all "Ima eat me some sardines! Yeah!!!" Then the barracuda showed up, racing into and out of the picture (and the sardines). It was amazing how much faster than the other fish those cuda were.

And then, out of nowhere, the whale came in and with one yuge gulp, just busted up the whole game. I mean it was very impressive. There wasn't enough sardines left to make a bait ball, and urrbody went home after that.

It might have been Nature's Great Events, or something like that. I remember it was off the coast of south-eastern Africa.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:57 AM   #8
xoxoxoBruce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaphone Jim View Post
Do other birds besides starlings form murmurations?
Yes, some of the shore birds do.

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Originally Posted by Gravdigr View Post
It might have been Nature's Great Events, or something like that. I remember it was off the coast of south-eastern Africa.
I remember seeing one like that, sardines or anchovy, traveling up the African coast like a sandwich being passed along a subway car, everybody take a bite.
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