Wollongong residents, grab your binoculars – the whales are back in town.
A savvy Mercury photographer spotted a whale playing off Flagstaff Hill at lunchtime yesterday as it continued its migration south for the warmer months.
And it won’t be the only one.
Geoff Ross, from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, said a constant stream of female whales and their calves were likely to be spotted off the Illawarra’s coast in coming weeks.
‘‘We’ve had lots of reports of whales moving southwards,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re hearing about a lot of humpback whales but also southern right whales.’’
Mr Ross said spring was ‘‘transit time’’ for whales to head south after their migration north for warmer waters in June.
At least 12,000 whales are expected to make the annual migration down the east coast over the next few months.
‘‘If you spend long enough looking, you’ll see them,’’ Mr Ross said.
‘‘They don’t tend to come in too close when they make their migration south but there are healthy numbers of whales around.’’
The last week in June is usually the best time for Illawarra residents to spot whales.