RESEARCHERS are excited and confused by early sightings of whales in Port Phillip and Western Port.
Dolphin Research Institute executive director Jeff Weir said whales usually showed up in June “so this is quite extraordinary – but then again so is 25 degrees in Mornington harbour”.
Mr Weir said the first report of whale off Seaford “sounded more like a false killer whale”.
Since then reports of a humpback whale have come from sailors at Somers and Balnarring.
“One of the people from Somers Yacht Club seems very knowledgeable about humpbacks. We also had a reliable sighting of a humpback some days ago off Cowes,” Mr Weir said.
“So I’m inclined to conclude that it was a humpback. Very unusual.
“We don’t normally see humpbacks here until the first week of June. So this is quite extraordinary.
“Reports of an animal that sounds like a false killer whale off Seaford were also received. This is both exciting and confusing, especially about the humpback, which we normally don’t see until June.
“Eighteen months ago DRI researchers made the first observations this far south of a competitive pod of humpback whales off Mt Martha.
“If could be that we are beginning to see a number of firsts – just like the record weather patterns and temperatures in Port Phillip.”