What a fluke!

A southern right whale and her calf cruise in Otago Harbour at Harington Point yesterday.

Having the whales swim past his Harington Point boat house made for a special afternoon for Dunedin man Trev Faris.

''It was awesome. We were so excited we jumped on the Monarch, just down the road, for a closer look,'' Mr Faris said of the whale and her calf.

''They're beautiful. So huge.''

Department of Conservation marine ranger Jim Fyfe said sightings of the whales at Taiaroa Head were reported to Doc about 11am yesterday.

Marine science researchers doing surveys on Shelly Beach photographed the whales for the species' identification database.

Right whales were often seen along Otago's coast during winter but sightings were later than normal around the country this year.

Southern right whales were seen heading south off St Clair on Monday but until photographs were compared it would not be known if they were the same as those in the harbour.

It appeared whales were making more visits to Otago Harbour in recent years and they averaged about half a day in the area, Mr Fyfe said.

Footnote: The Collins Dictionary defines a fluke as either of the two lobes of the tail of a whale or related animal.

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