Thursday, July 19, 2018

7-19-18 It Must Be a Whale Day

Thursday, July 19th
...the four J Pod whales with Onyx L-87, yesterday, left toward the open ocean today...
...the other 19 J Pod whales were still in the inland waters...they came down passing Lime Kiln in the mid-afternoon and turn and went back up island at about 8pm...


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

7-18-18 SRKWs Mixing It Up

Monday-Wednesday, July 16-18
A quick accounting of the last few days, lest I get lost in all this mixing up...I care but the whales don't...they just want salmon, please...

Wednesday 7-16
Only the 10 J Pod whales who were present yesterday, were seen today.
The J16 family of 5, and 5 of the J17 family.  It appears that Star J-46 was likely with Tsuchi J-31 or Suttles J-40 and the rest of J Pod who had gone west towards the open ocean. (fast forward to the 18th - Star J-46 was with her family.)
The J16s and J17s spent their day traveling southeast the Strait of Georgia, passing Pt. Roberts and heading toward Rosario Strait late in the day.

Tuesday 7-17
The 10 SRKWs who have been in the Salish Sea, had evidently come down Rosario Strait in the night because they were seen coming up the west side of San Juan Island where they spent most of the day between Eagle Pt. to just north of Lime Kiln.  In the late afternoon, after they had passed Lime Kiln and were at Andrews Bay, to the north, other whales - K Pod whales showed up, totally unexpectedly.  No one knew they were 'in', likely because the seas in Juan de Fuca were rough.
The whales present now totaled at least 21 (some Js and some Ks) and all went back down island.  They could be heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones until about 22:45, until drowned out by ship noise.
Wednesday 7-18
Today the total # of SRKWs was 24.  All of J Pod and one L Pod whale who travels exclusively with J Pod. 
The K Pod whales who were here yesterday were not seen anywhere today.

The whales were in Haro Strait all night on the 17th, and into the 18th, the majority of them heading north towards Active Pass.
There was a small group of five, who stayed along the west side of SJI.
Of those five, three had come up island passing the lighthouse in the morning with the all of J Pod, except Blackberry J-27...but then, about an hour later, the three - Tsuchi J-31, Oreo J-22, and Cookie J-38, left the large group and came back down island to where Blackberry J-27 and Onyx L-87 were.
Late in the day they came up island at about 9pm and could be heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones until around 11p.m., (while I was writing this post) Onyx L-87 continued vocalizing his distinctive call well into the distance.
...interesting to note...when he did this before it was like he was calling out to others, perhaps other Ls...and the following day it showed that maybe he had, because when he was seen he was with L Pod whales incoming - that was a few years ago...still gets one to we shall see what, if anything, occurs.
Food for thought: 
Are they splitting and mixing in order to find enough food?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

7-15-18 It's About Getting the Word Out for the Whales

Saturday and Sunday, July 14/15
July 14
July 15

...the Vancouver Port Authority voluntary vessel slowdown is underway...
...Soundwatch is on the water to educate boaters to Be Whale Wise...
...lots of enforcement boats on the water...
...the scat boat is on the water to collect fecal samples for analysis...
...lots of task forces at work for a healthy ecosystem...
...and today a new addition the Whale Warrior!!!
The more people who know and understand the better the chances are of restoring not only this population of endangered SRKWs but also the ecosystem that needs so much attention to recover.

...observation...just the two family groups of J Pod in here adult male, 4 adult females, 3 juveniles between ages 8 and 11, and 2 under age 4.  Perhaps with this small number they might have a better chance at finding enough salmon.   Maybe it's for another reason. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

7-13-18 It's for the Orcas and the Ecosystem

Thursday and Friday, July 12/13

Thursday, 7/12
...what a surprise!! - inbound SRKWs...and not only inbound but already coming across Haro Strait...J Pod whales and others...others who were first said to be Ls, and ended up being Ks!!  It's been a long time since seeing K Pod in here. became a very mixed up day...mixed up in the way of which family groups of whales were see, they split into two groups..yes, split.

...Shachi J-19 with Alki J-36 behind her, went past the lighthouse first...then came Eclipse J-41 and Nova J-51...a little way behind them were Slick J-16 and Echo J-42, but Slick and Echo didn't make it to the lighthouse before turning around and going back down island...they continued down and, along with some K Pod whales, some Js and Ks eventually went up San Juan Channel...

...the J16s, J17s, Cappuccino K-21, K16s, the K12s appeared to be the ones who stayed off the west side of the island... was a busy day for many - whale watching boats, private pleasure craft, container ships, enforcement boats, StraitWatch (Canada), and Soundwatch (US)...

Friday, 7/13
...4:30 a.m. "click-click-click" echolocation clicks on the vocals, but it didn't matter because some Js and some Ks were north and some were south!...which direction those whales went in the early morning hours would reveal itself later...
...they came quickly...spotted coming down from Turn Pt. the whales were passing the Lime Kiln lighthouse by 11:00...and who did we see but some members from each of the J Pod matrilines and Cappuccino K21, the K16s, the K12s, and Onyx L87.  So the ones that had stayed south last night were the ones making those echolocation clicks at 4:30 in the morning... about 1:00 the K13 family group came past the lighthouse
...then at about 6pm the K14s came by, foraged in front of the lighthouse for quite a while and then continued on down island.
...seeing some large ships in the distance I took advantage to share with people about the Port of Vancouver, ECHO Program, a voluntary vessel slow down period...and it went into effect on July 12!

...but what about smaller 'ships' in 'boats'  whether private or commercial...well - watch for the FLAG and you will know: might see that flag along a shoreline (image at Lime Kiln lighthouse) or flying from a boat or even perhaps a kayak.  When you see that flag - WHALES ARE IN THE AREA!  

Thank you, boaters, for slowing down.  
Thank you, boaters for flying the flag when you see whales - you will be alerting others too!

and at the end of the day...

It's all for the whales!
          It's all for this ecosystem!
                   It's all for your future too!

Monday, July 9, 2018

7-9-18 Little Fish

Sunday and Monday, July 8-9
...with the Southern Residents finding food elsewhere, like out on the outer coast, and the lack of gulls, and other marine life along a stretch of the west side of the island, observing what is/isn't going on at the surface or above, can be of interest too...
...I've been checking in on the Pigeon Guillemots and and hoping to see when their chicks 'flutter down' to the water...they say it's at night so I won't see that but hope to see them in the water one morning... the Guillemot location, yesterday and today a couple Kingfishers showed up and got my attention...