Secret Harbour couple capture dolphins playing in Dawesville Cut

Photo: Terry Trathen Photography
Photo: Terry Trathen Photography

A SECRET Harbour couple captured rare images of Indo-Pacific bottlenose baby dolphins “doing backflips” and “playing” when they visited Dawesville Cut on Sunday

Terry Trathen and his wife Carole, who are both professional photographers, were lucky to see a pod of baby dolphins in the canal at Dawesville Cut, where they believe about 25 of the graceful creatures live.

“We’ve been visiting the area for about four years, on and off, just to look,” Mr Trathen said.

Photo: Terry Trathen Photography

“We’ve seen all sorts of wildlife including fish jumping and dolphins doing somersaults and playing tricks on each other.”

The couple registered to train as dolphin watchers, as part of the Department of Biodiversity and the Parks and Wildlife Service River Guardians program The Dolphin Watch project.

The project was developed as a tool to gather information about the community of bottlenose dolphins residing in the Swan and Canning rivers.

“My wife and I joined a group a few weeks ago called Dolphin Watch where you observe dolphins and record your findings on an app on your phone,” Mr Trathen said.

“We became unofficial scientists”.

Photo: Terry Trathen Photography

Mr Trathen said the information recorded on the app was used for research and education within universities.

“We had one meeting and we signed up and were given a book to recognise the fin types of dolphins,” he said.

“We upload a photo onto the app of the dolphins every time we see them and it gets recorded.”

Mr Trathen said he believed a baby dolphin boom was common within the area.

Photo: Terry Trathen Photography

“At this time of the year, Dawesville Cut is full of Salmon and Herring fish thus offering the dolphins ample food and allowing the pod to teach the calves how to hunt in the canals,” he said.

“We could sit there for hours and watch them skim along the rocks in that canal at Dawesville Cut.”

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