Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, March 7, 2015

3-7-15 T137A and A Harbor Porpoise Fetus

I'll start with March 5th...
...what a wild day...
...whales spotted in Spieden Channel going west...but then not seen...a while later, over the hydrophones I hear transient calls...so figuring they are coming down island, because that's what my friend said, I go look...so far nothing...five minutes later I get a call that transient calls are being heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...what?...now that just didn't make any sense...
...so down island I go where I can scan from shore a long distance...
...I didn't see any whales coming down island but I spotted whales coming up island!...and there was no way possible that it could have been the ones that I heard over the Orca Sound hydrophones...but it was the ones that were heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...confused yet?...I sure was!
...there was a big male in the group and I immediately thought it was T19B...I didn't know I could ID him from four miles offshore!..then again his fin is so broad...he's the one I call Mr. Floppy Fin...
...I went out on the Center for Whale Research boat with Dave Ellifrit and friend Katie...this group of four are called the T18s..and eventually they met up with the T60s and T2B - I'm pretty sure they are the ones who who had come through Spieden Channel earlier, and who were on the Orca Sound hydrophones, based on a few factors...
...it was quite the epic encounter when teenage T19C and T60D, both males,  verified today during one wild breach, got together...it was just plain wild...check out the Center for Whale Research's Encounters page in the coming days for some pics that we took while out there...

...the next day, not a whale in sight...

Now for Saturday, March 7th
...Hobbes found whales on the west side and they were coming up island...it turned out to be the T137s...mom and three kids...
...T137A and T137B were together, mom - T137 and the youngest - T137D were off...I think they were waiting for the other two to bring them their meals...at least that's how it looked during the several times they took something...

...there was one extra stunning moment...

...T137A spyhopped, while trying to get some part of the meal into his mouth...there are a series of 9 images - wished I had had the video going, but if I had I wouldn't have discovered that it appears he has a harbor porpoise fetus in his mouth...notice the tiny pectoral fins...several people got images, so there may be other angles, but all were from this same side of the whale...

...I have never seen spyhop action like this before...nor have I ever seen a harbor porpoise fetus like this before...
...it's not pretty but it's almost beyond words...

I just got an email from Traci who posted a video of the head tossing.

I usually consider March to be Transient month...it's sure starting out that way...

note:  those in SE Alaska or off the Queen Charlottes keeping a look out for J Pod  :)...they're down this way...I heard yesterday that they had been recently spotted up in the same general area where the herring run is occurring...gee, I wonder why...

2 comments:

Robin Gardner said...

That is wild. Seems so small and not filling - not sure why they would care for such a small thing.

Jeanne said...

Hi Robin,
Thanks for your comment. What I think he was doing was trying to get rid of it. I think it was attached to something that was in his mouth and his head tossing back and forth was to break it off. That's my guess.