Nothing says three’s a crowd more than two male humpbacks vying for the attention of a third, female whale while a massive pod of dolphins playfully weaves in between the trio.
The rare footage, shared with The West Australian today, was captured by Perth adventure photographer Caleb “Salty” Davenport, 31, at Quobba Station.
Mr Davenport said he and his girlfriend had been relaxing with a glass of wine on shore when they spotted “splashing” in the distance”.
“We wanted to investigate so I flew the drone out there and it ended up being about 1.5km off shore when we found them (the whales),” he said.
To say the first bull on scene had his game salted is an understatement, with the giant having less than a minute alone with his love interest before the second suitor arrived.
Mr Davenport said watching the two males “play for dominance” was like watching “two guys trying to impress a woman in a bar”.
“I definitely haven’t seen that kind of encounter before,” he said. “She was being followed by them the whole time.
“Normally you see one or two whales splashing around but the way they were jostling to get the female is something I’d never seen before.
“Their movements, which usually look quite slow, were really sharp. They were eager to get the female.”
Only adding to the fascinating footage is the arrival of a pod of dolphins, who quickly crashed the already-crowded party by swimming amongst the whales for several minutes.
Mr Davenport said it was “very special” to watch.
“I couldn’t see the scale of what was going on while it was out there, but when I got back to the computer it kind of blew my mind,” he said.
Mr Davenport captured the beautiful sight during a three-week stint at Quobba Station, where he was recording footage for a YouTube movie series.