Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Friday, February 2, 2018

2-2-18 An Afternoon With J Pod

Friday, February 2nd
J Pod and Onyx L-87 (of course).
...the story is on the images.  Enjoy!




















Tuesday, January 30, 2018

1-30-18 Sounds of J Pod from Sunday-Jan 28th

Sunday, January 28th

...well, it's back to talking about those fish sounds (sound like a burp) again...when talking with a couple last week, they mentioned that just because there is only one burp, that doesn't mean there aren't more that are just in reaching the HPs...oh, yeah!... 
...since the relocation of the hydrophones, I had to restart the listening process comparison all over again...added to that, is the decrease in salmon moving through - but I am not saying it's salmon but the sounds are related to the whales showing up, and the whales show up when there are salmon, so...
...my time frame is from November through March...and since the relocations of the LK hydrophones (which are not there for Jeanne to listen to strange things), from time to time I will hear one of those sounds, but so seldom that I haven't paid much attention to them...usually save the clip or make a notation when I hear one...on January 25, 26, and 27 I heard one or two burp sounds...I didn't pay much attention to them - too infrequent - or were they?
...I had no idea where J Pod had gone, based on the last sighting/hearing of them - hearing was on the 24th, early in the morning and so faint I was surprised they woke me up...but only three calls-2 off Lime Kiln HPs and 1 off Orca Sound HPs...that gave me a clue as to possible location, because the three calls were so close together it had to be where the two HPs most distant reach, crossed...hmmm, only a few spots...but I was so set on them going north I noted the burps but didn't get beyond that...they could have gone either direction...
 

...so four days later, when word came that J Pod was in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, those burp sounds grew in significance...whatever is moving about ahead of the whales, by several hours (that's when it starts) and ends once the whales show up (really) may not require hearing an increase in burps...since the landscape has changed!
...what does it mean? who knows...I just know there is a relationship between those burp sounds and the whales showing up.
What are they?  Who are they?...who knows!...I only know I have increased my 'alert system' for those sounds...
..the common denominator for these is that there aren't other related sounds before or after...it's just the one burp sound, nothing else... here's a sample of 4 of those sounds recorded at different times and in different years...


...by the time the whales reached Haro Strait it was almost too dark to get a glimpse of them all the way on the far side, coming out of Baynes Channel...
...it took a while before they were heard over the hydrophones and they were far offshore...but then...
...And this one - the best, but for a different reason than one might think...
...overall, it has been a long time since hearing the whales like this...it was heartwarming...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1-16-18 Birds

Tuesday, January 16th
...not much of a birder but do like to photograph them when possible...
...and it was on the 14th when I was out and about to see what birds I could see is when I saw J Pod...so, you just never know...

...however, no sightings other than birds in the last few days...
...here are a few...



 ...those three Harlequin ducks and the lighting - which made these three look black and white, reminded me of a new island resident...
...

...I have since tried twice, but it will take being at the wall at just the right time in order to get a picture of just the top of that rock exposed...

...I then went to County Park and saw this Pigeon Guillemot...
...and another five Harlequin Ducks...same combination - 3 males and 2 females...
...

...but no birds within camera range that day...
..and no whales the next day but some more birds...






...and this one, I haven't a clue...
...too funny! - this image proves I'm not much of a birder - it's a robin!  Sure doesn't look like one to me...I think I'll stick with the orcas!
 
...it's the sunny days at this time of year that are a must to get outside!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1-14-18 Something Caught My Eye

Sunday, January 14th

...the sun was shining - finally...I told myself  "out the door and don't come home before dark."...little did I know...

...off to Lime Kiln...I needed to take a picture to finish a blog post...and in order to get the picture the tide had to be high...okay, mission accomplished - it was about noon...

...next stop County Park...I had been looking for whatever would show up...Dall's porpoises riding the wake of a freighter...far out and could only see their splashes but when you know what they are doing, well, it puts a smile on your face anyway...

...I decided I would go to Ruben Tarte Park next, on the northeast side of the island and figured I would work my way down to the bottom end of the island by day's end...however, other things would come into my view...at first something caught my eye as I was parking the car...
...get out the binos and 'lookie-here'...a zodiac...hummm...I wonder what they are watching...from where they were and the direction/speed I knew they were watching something...so very far away...
...now why didn't I have my 'big eyes' with me? - arrgh!...but I kept watching...one very tall dorsal fin came into view! Killer whales!  WOW!  I could not believe my eyes...I saw a couple other boats that I knew and they were spread out, so I knew that whoever those whales were, were also spread out...but I would have to see what came next...

...as the whales came a bit closer, I could see a few far, far off toward the other side of the channel...yes, it looked like they were going to come down San Juan Channel...and they did...
...got a couple images and that let me know those were J Pod whales out there!!!...well, and Onyx L-87 too :)
...the seas were rough and the whales were far from shore and they kept going down island...so did I - to town, hoping they would come by Friday Harbor...

...Oh, my!  They did!...about 6 to 8, spread out, came past the entrance to Friday Harbor - that was just too cool to watch...even though they were so far out...
 ...next, I was about to calculate the time for being at the bottom end of the island, when I saw one of the whales change direction.  
...What?...wait, maybe only foraging...
 ...so glad I waited...because it wasn't long before those who had passed the harbor and gone out of sight, down island, came back and went up island...
 ...it looked as though the current was a pretty strong ebb, but when I got home and looked it said it was more slackish at that time...it was about 3:30 when I saw the last one leave my view, still going up...leaping!
 ...after waiting about 30 minutes, I went back up to Ruben Tarte, but at that time, daylight was saying goodbye...and the whales seemed to have stalled out, still a few miles away...so when I looked at the tide table, it showed me why they likely had (of course I don't know) but about a 7' ebb was just getting started...(note to self: put tide chart on my phone for future reference)...

...evidently J Pod had been north all this time, which is really not uncommon for this time of year, at least in recent years...also it is winter blackmouth salmon season...I'll have to ask the fishermen how their season is going...and whatever they say is likely what the whales would say too! ...so here's hoping the fishermen are having a great blackmouth season :)