Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guide Camp Report  Jan-Feb: Families & Friends - The Heart of the Matter!

Noly Lira
We are in full swing with our Gray Whale season here at San Ignacio Lagoon, and as whales and people once again converge on this special body of water, it seems to bring out the best in both species.  It’s barely a month into the season, but we have already witnessed many of the wonderful behaviors of the Pacific Gray Whales that have migrated down from their summer feeding grounds.  

The adult whales have been playing and socializing, while the cows have been nursing, nurturing and teaching their young calves all about the lagoon.

While the whales have made their arduous journey from thousands of miles away, our guests have also traveled great distances to watch them.  So far, we have had visitors from all over the United States, some have driven from Arizona & Texas, and others have flown in from Germany and the United Kingdom.  

Our guests have included inquisitive professionals from many fields of scientific study, as well as people just looking to make another check on their bucket list.  

They all eventually become an extended family by the end of their unique experience at Campo Cortez.


Witnessing a wild, 50-ton mother gray whale nudging her baby up to the side of a panga, so that members of another species can caress them is a truly remarkable experience that isn’t found anywhere else on earth.  When I am doing my own observations with my cetacean research, I marvel at the whales' behaviors and often wonder, which of the two species is doing the "observing".

There are so many various activities to participate in at Campo Cortez, including beginning your morning with a meditative stretch, kayaking, walking the camp and observing the many incredible birds and flora, and even trying your hand at shaping the perfect (and authentic) tortilla in the camp's family kitchen.

Or decompress with a dance, or do nothing at all.


Either way, we are all looking forward to experiencing many more activities in and around the lagoon and of course incredible whale encounters.  Everyone here at camp hopes you can join us soon.
Noly, Naturalist/Guide- Baja Eco Tours

Friday, February 17, 2017

Guide Report: San Ignacio Lagoon

Happy Days

Report from Campo Cortez at San Ignacio LagoonGray Whale Blog & update 

February 17, 2017
By Lorna Kate Hill

Things are really spicing up here at San Ignacio Lagoon. We now have over 200 whales in the lagoon and Campo Cortez is full! We have the Gray Whale Reseerch group visiting from Oregon and they are pretty excited to be here. Lots of gray whale enthusiasts amongst us, ready to have fun with the whales. There has been a lot of mating happening recently amongst the whales, some groups were able to witness the action for a good amount time. It proves to be quite some show!

There is a juvenile male whale in the lagoon that has been named Leonardo. Leonardo loves to play and usually comes up to the boat for a rub and sometimes even a kiss! He is easy to spot as he has almost a fully white rostrum with lots and lots of barnacles. Watch those fingers as you're giving him a rub as you might even get a handful of barnacles at the same time!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Gray Whale Census: February 9, 2017 for San Ignacio Lagoon

Gray Whale Census at San Ignacio Lagoon

February 9, 2017

Location:  Laguna San Ignacio, BCS, Mexico

Adults:  116
Calves:  68

Total:    184

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Spring times: Guide Report

I always love this time of year… It’s a feeling of new, a feeling of rebirth, although it comes from a pattern of something that has happened before. The whales are very active now, we can see their sense of spirit, perhaps we can call it excitement – it’s a big time for them. The mothers have their calves and everyday they must teach them the necessary knowledge before their big journey back up North. There are 3 juvenile males in the lagoon who just love to put on a performance. We see one of them spy-hopping continually in the waves and another just loves to dive, showing off his fluke as he dives down. Sometimes they come to the boat, one at each side and they just lie below the surface, looking up at us, their big eyes even bigger when magnified in the water.

We have another exciting “birth” in the camp and that is in the form of our feathered friends. One of the nests that houses that Osprey has now got 3 little eggs! We need to do a check around this time to see whether there are eggs in the nest as it is our duty to take care of the Osprey as much as possible. San Ignacio Lagoon is not only a sanctuary for the whales but also for the birds – there are about 50 different species of birds found here at the lagoon, it has also been noted that there are more Ospreys nesting here than usual… our nest-protection efforts have worked!
What we try to ask people when they come is not to stand too long near the nests of the Ospreys, especially when they have eggs, as the birds fly off when you come close, therefore the eggs are exposed. If they are exposed for more than 15 minutes, they will get cold and die. So please bring your long lenses or just enjoy from a distance!

What an enjoyment it is to see it all coming to life, it's getting busy.... 

Looking forward to seeing you all here at Campo Cortez!

Lorna Hill
San Ignacio Lagoon
8th February 2017