Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Monday, July 18, 2016

7-18-16 Orca Action on the West Side Again!

Monday, July 18th
...bald eagles at American Camp...this was from July 17th...had come down here looking for the L12s who had been spending many days along the lower end of the island...this bald eagle nest is in a great location (easy viewing) right from the parking lot and a closer nest than the previous one that, I think, was demolished (nest and branches) in a wind storm a couple winters ago.

...23 hours later, sitting at Lime Kiln lighthouse, some orcas were coming up island...

...but who were they???...
...and behind her...
...next came Kasatka L-82 and Finn L-116...that's interesting!
...then Cookie J-38...he was a bit farther offshore...also out there was Nugget L-55...DoubleStuf J-34 and Oreo J-22 were in closer to shore and so was Takoda L-109...they were surfacing individually as they moved north...
...a few minutes later Cookie was way farther off in the distance chasing salmon!

...up ahead of him was Lapis L-103 and her offspring L-123...interesting to note is that Takoda L-109, Lapis L013 and calf, and their mom Nugget L-55 were traveling about parallel with one another though spread across for close to a mile...
...a half hour later...
...a few minutes later...


...from first seeing them (four images up) it was a span of about 10 minutes...
...under the surface, at the surface, heading in toward the kelp...they appeared to be in a social mood...

...folks on the rocks up island, from where I was, were pretty intent...


...in this group was Granny J-2, Onyx L-87, the J14 family and the J16 family...and just behind them was fog moving in fast...off to County Park hoping the fog would not reach the shore up there...


...it was only noon when the whales passed by going north, hopefully to find enough salmon along the way and at the Fraser River...

...interesting to note:  the J11 group - Blackberry J-27, Tsuchi J-31, and Mako J-39 appear to be making some changes...will have to continue to watch this family group and see how this chapter in their lives unfolds...


 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

7-16-16 When One Meets His First Whale

Saturday, July 16th...J Pod and some L Pod whales were on the west side and stayed down island foraging all day long...and goofing around too...

...in the afternoon with the Residents out of view from shore and hearing of some transients in San Juan Channel...well, you know, off I went to see if I could see them...
...while waiting at Cattle Pass...

...the Ts were far...the T65As and the T37As, I heard...one of the whales in the T37A group had a bent dorsal fin...best I could do from a great distance...
...later in the day, back at Lime Kiln a few of the J Pod whales came up past the lighthouse...it was getting dark...almost too dark...
...sometimes you get to experience someone seeing their first orca...when that someone is in their twenties and has been fascinated by the orcas since being a little boy (he said)...well, it is nothing but very special to be able to watch the connection between human and whale being made...
...remember when you saw your first-ever orca?...special, wasn't it :)








Thursday, July 14, 2016

7-14-16 Lime Kiln Shoreline and the Orcas!

Thursday, July 14th
...L pod whales had come in the night before...
...it was mid afternoon before some of them came north...
...the J11s-Blackberry J-27, Tsuchi J-31, and Mako J-39 were reported to be present! (They had not returned with Group B of J Pod on July 8th and many wondered what might be going on.)
...we don't know what was going on...they are here now...and we'll see who they stay with...

...J Pod whales were coming down from the north...see prior post about their stunning travels along the west side, as they moved on up...
...some of the L4s, L26s, L47s, and L72s (19 whales) are the whales that came up island...the J11s and the L12s remained down island...
...those 19 L Pod whales moved up past Lime Kiln and met J Pod as they came down island...they met up off County Park and down island they went...
...once again it was another amazing encounter...here are a few images from the day at Lime Kiln...








.
...there were some lunges, some circling...but were they foraging or socializing...maybe some of both!
...salmon are here...hopefully there will be more arriving and enough to bring in the rest of L Pod and K Pod... 




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

7-13-16 J Pod Whales Left the Humans Speechless

Wednesday, July 13th
...speechless but not wordless...
...'Oh, my"...that's for starters!

...at about noon some of the J17s and some of the J22s came up island and past the lighthouse...they turned and went back down island...


...1 1/2 hours later some of the J17s and some of the J22s came up island past the lighthouse...they turned and went back down island...less surface active this time up and still a good distance from shore...

...Group A had now rounded Turn Pt. on Stuart Island and were coming down Haro Strait...the two groups would meet up...but when and where were the questions...

...the J16s had been way south, down island...what would they do...

...and the plot thickens:
...Granny's group - Group A passes the lighthouse...the J22s and the J17s were slowly coming up island...
(get in car and go see what might occur)...
...I saw where they were traveling down island together...but they really weren't going anywhere...and then...and then...
...they turned...and as they slowly began coming up island there was a large group in closer to shore, a few whales a bit farther off...
...Onyx L-87 who had been way offshore ended up coming in and joining the big group...
...up island they began slowly...slowly...then - a breach, and another and more...a cartwheel...a spyhop...and on they continued...




...they continued a display of above surface behavior all the way from Hannah Heights until they went out of sight north of County Park!

 




...and the J16s...they were about 20 minutes behind the others, moving together at their own pace...

 
...all of J Pod except the J11s were here and of course Onyx L87 was here too...for a grand total of 27 orcas...
 
...ready to download images and I get word that L Pod whales were coming into Haro Strait...went to look and at almost dark I saw one whale breach miles from shore...heading toward San Juan Island...

...looks like the number of whales here tomorrow might increase!