By Jasmine Kazlauskas
This newborn humpback whale calf showed off for his mum during the annual migration return – by breaching just metres from a boatload of tourists.
Jonas Liebschner captured these incredible shots of the ‘frisky’ mammal while on a whale watching cruise at the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Australia, on Friday afternoon [Oct 4].
German-born Jonas, 33, was amazed at how close the fearless animal was happy to come to the Whale Watching Sydney boat as it inquisitively checked out the stunned holiday makers.
The snapper and dad-of-two said: “At the moment it is the time for all the mothers and calves to return back to Antarctic waters where they will feed over summer.
“It was quite windy on Friday afternoon with choppy seas coming from the south.
“Whales are going south and quite often when they have to go against the waves we see them breaching a lot.
“We don’t quite know why, but it seems to be something they do for fun.
“Calves especially can be very frisky, and this particular one was breaching the entire time in front of his mum.
“Another whale watching boat had joined us, and is visible in the background of the pictures.
“It showed just how big whales are compared to the people on the boat – and that’s just the calf.
“It really seemed like this calf was showing off for its mum. It was great to see.”
Australia’s eastern coastline comes alive each year between April and November, as pods of humpback whales make the 10,000km (6214 miles) journey from Antarctica to Australia in order to mate and give birth.
The whales then travel back past Sydney with their calves in late September, October and November, with the annual spectacle over by early December.
Jonas added: “There will be about 3,000 mothers and calves coming past Sydney harbour between the end of September and the end of November.”