Friday, August 29, 2014

8/25-29/14 Talk About Mixing It Up - Whew!

Monday - Thursday, August 25-28
...there have been times in past years - the whales go up and the whales go down - they stay in their 'nice groupings' - well, that appears to be a thing of the past!...at least for this season...and it is getting more crazy...

Monday, August 25th
...on Monday morning I heard that some Js, some Ks (there could only be three because all the rest had gone north the day before), and some Ls were seen west of Race Rocks, somewhere, and they were heading west..bye-bye...

...and on Monday Group A, the K12s, K13s, and K14s family groups and the J10s (Oreo's group)...none of them were seen anywhere!...and there was a question as to where Onyx L-87 was - north or south??? - no one was sure...
...and were the J16s with them? - not sure on that one either...

Tuesday, August 26th
...Ts, Ts, and more Ts (see 2 posts prior to this post)...no Residents anywhere...
...that is until I got a call that Granny J-2 was seen up near the Campbell River!
-okay this is getting freaky...

Wednesday, August 27th
...it was late afternoon, on Maya's Westside Charters, shortly out of the harbor we saw a mom and 2 of her kids...raccoons that is!
...and then we get the call - lots of whales and they were not far...in Haro Strait, in bound and coming toward the island...

...I was so curious as to who was present...
...Blackberry J-27...(notice the sunshine)
...Mako J-39 and...
...the J17s are here...
...and so are some of those L pod whales from the other day...
...and bingo - Onyx L-87!!
...so is it still 'breaking news' now that he has done this twice this season...I think that somehow J-27 plays a role in this...maybe Onyx wants to hang out with other adult males other than Mike J-26 who is very clingy to his mom...
...Nugget L-55 and her group travel with three other L pod family groups...I saw others in her group...
...and I saw Nigel L-95 from one of the other groups...
...we didn't see all the whales who had come in, but I talked with one person who said for sure they saw Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, and Sonata K-35 - those would have been 'icing on the cake' to have seen them - they've been MIA since August 11th!...
...still in question are the J16s, who I had heard had gone north with the others a few days ago...

Thursday, August 28th
...bright and early in the morning...
Granny J-2! - yes, here they came back down from the north...but the challenging seas didn't help matters...and fog was trying to interrupt the day...
...I did see enough whales to be pretty sure those who I knew had gone way north a few days ago had come back down...some of who I saw: Granny J-2, some of the J14s, DoubleStuf J-34, Tika K-33, and Shachi J-19...well, she was so cool...
...but looking back north...
...and down they went into some very nasty seas...

...then late in the day whales began coming up island...I did manage to get a picture of Granny J-2 as she had just turned to go back down island...and we needed to get out of those rough seas!


Friday, August 29th
...more than once whales came up island...didn't make it to the lighthouse in the a.m....couldn't tell who and they weren't within hydrophone range - strange how the HPs don't pick them up when they are that close, but they don't...

...then later in the day...this time I wasn't at the lighthouse, cause I didn't think they would make it...this time they did!...well, I think it was 2 of the three - Granny J-2, Shachi J-19, and Eclipse J-41...and they were echolocating and vocalizing over the hydrophones...

...I'm already wondering how the season will 'end up' - there used to be a 'rhyme and reason' for it all or so we thought...actually there is, and the whales know what it is...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8/23-24/14 Another Split In the Making

Saturday, August 23rd
...it was J pod - inbound! - and it sounded as if all of them were together...
...out on Maya's Westside Charters, after seeing some Ts on an earlier trip, we headed for the Residents...


 ...that's DoubleStuf J-34...

...Granny and Onyx had headed up island, for a while anyway...then they both went back down island where the rest of the J pod whales were...
...at the end of 8/23 I had seen some members of each of the family groups in J pod and Onyx L-87, but I didn't see any K or L pod whales...

...so when the next morning I hear K pod calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...huh?...when we go out of the harbor (it was about 2:30) whales that were very spread out, were coming up island...
I saw Granny J-2...
...I didn't see Onyx L-87...he might be off foraging as he sometimes does...but I did see some members of the rest of Group A...
...all the K-12s...here's K-12 and K-43...
...the K13s...here's K-27 and K-44...
...and hen J-32 surfaced with Yoda K-36 of the K14 family, I knew they were present...
...and on second thought - what are 'The Cookies' doing here?!
...and they went up island...but where were the J17s and the J11s?...
...back home from the trip...all of a sudden I hear some calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...and they were very unusual...I had to go find out who it was...
...it was lucky for me, I guess, those whales had turned and were going back down island...
...now that was a surprise - the J17s and some L pod whales!
...at the end of 8/24 it was apparent there was another unusual split occurring...

8/23-26/14 - Lots of Ts for Lots of Days!

Saturday - Tuesday, August 23-26  (Ts first - Residents next)
...so many days with so many Ts in so many places...
...the T34s, T36s, T65As, T99s, T90s, T124D and baby, and I don't know who else!
 
...and the next day...they came the other way...




...the next day the gulls were on their own...
...
...and then the call came from the Capt..."want to go see some Ts?"...and these were the only Ts seen on this day...
...and by the next day those others reappeared, only this time in three groups here and there...we spent the day with the T65As...
...later on San Juan Channel...

 
 ...one more time - on Maya's Westside Charters...as things would have it...
...

...and there's more to the story of these 4 days...the Residents - oh, yes, they were here...some of the time...
...next post will be to fill in the who/what/where over these last several days...and it is very interesting!


Friday, August 22, 2014

8/21-22/14 Peregrine Falcon Takes Center Stage

Thursday, August 21st
...they woke me up...not quite 3:00 a.m....K Pod calls...I knew K pod (except the K Klik- K21, K16 and K35) had been up near the Fraser River with J Pod...and from what I was hearing there were lots of K pod calls, but no J pod calls...so maybe J pod didn't come down?
...it was four hours later, about 7:00 a.m. when I heard a few faint calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...bolting out the door and to the park...I see only one blow...that's it...
...so I still didn't know who actually was here...


...later...before we even saw the whales in the afternoon Capt. Jim stopped along Henry Island where there is a cormorant rookery...and guess what?...a peregrine falcon was there...this had the coloring of a fledgling and soon it was chasing after a cormorant - we were all shocked...never seen anything like it...extremely fast it was!...



...he already had food and maybe saw an opportunity to get ahead on meal planning...see the feather below his beak?

...and when he took flight he was taking some of his previous catch with him...



...on to the whales...who were coming up island..it was the K12s, K13s and the K14s but no one else...
...since they don't all surface at the exact same moment it's a challenge to get lots of fin tips up...a resting pattern helps, which is what they were doing...a total of 16 whales were present...

...they changed direction and came back down island...
...Scoter K-25 still with that piece of metal sticking out of him from when he was tagged almost 2 years ago...

...and down island they went on Thursday afternoon...



...and then on Friday 8/22 - poof! - gone!

...during our trip we saw some friends, so the Capt. went over and asked Kenny to hold up his catch...see the fish?
...we didn't either!
...not much in the way of salmon out there for the humans or the whales...it's a very sad state of affairs for this area...at the moment anyway...
...the Fraser River Panel said today that it is unprecedented that 95% of the salmon were coming down from the north to the Fraser River...
...I don't know the answer but wouldn't the ones that went out that way come back in that same way?
...and if that is the case, then what happened to the ones who supposedly went out through these waters?
...were there only a few who made it out?
...and if they do return the same way they went out that is possibly speaking volumes that something is very wrong going on in these waters from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, and all these inland areas the salmon would travel through on their return...
...but these are all just questions on my part...I know that salmon are very complex fish...it just has me curious...