Do Not Copy

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

4-19-15 A Marathon Whale Day at the Park

Sunday, April 19th
...it seems more like May than April, not because of the weather, but because of J pod showing up so often...
...back to Saturday evening...it was around 9 pm when I heard the 'burp'- fish sounds -...I haven't heard any in several days...then at about 11 pm I heard another...and there were more at about 3:30 a.m...link here to see what I have been tracking...when I first wrote about it...
...so why was I surprised when J pod woke me up at 6 a.m over the Lime Kiln hydrophones this morning?...interesting too is on this audio clip of echolocation clicks - sounds more like tapping hammers - there are two of those burp sounds toward the end...

...Alki J-36 and baby J-52...
...someone breaching in the early morning (6:40 a.m.) as the whales came down island...
...I had expected the whales to be going up island, but instead they were coming down island...well, Slick J-16 looks like she is going up island but she is just facing that way and the current is carrying her down island...
...they didn't get too far down when they turned and began to come back up, against a very strong current...in fact it took them hours...
...waiting...waiting...closer...closer...
...the Center for Whale Research in the April 15th encounter write up, stated that Eclipse J-41 is actually the mother of J-51...I was on the Center's boat with Dave the day we discovered this calf, traveling tight between Shachi J-19 and Eclipse J-41...it didn't seem likely that Eclipse, being so young, would have a calf at this age...Eclipse was just over 8 years old when she got pregnant...she won't be 10 years old until June30/July1st of 2015...
...today Eclipse J-41 and baby J-51 were in the lead as the whales made it back up to the park this morning...
...it was a mixed up kind of pass by...between 10:00 and 11:15 Moby J-44 and Princess Angeline J-17 passed by the lighthouse three times!...once off shore...once close along the rocks...and the last time a bit off during what appeared to be cooperative foraging...maybe it was that salmon in the near vicinity...
...the whales were spread very far, making it easier to figure out which ones were doing the vocalizing...and when they did so right off the lighthouse, it helped even more to watch what could be seen from the surface...

...one fellow kept saying "there's one" and I'd reply with "that whale passed by here 15 minutes ago"...if one didn't know which whales they were looking at they might have thought they saw 40 or more whales!
...one of Princess Angeline's many passes by the lighthouse today...

...in the middle of it all...
...then T'ilem I'nges started breaching...
...I find this interesting...Oreo J-22, DoubleStuf J-34, and Cookie J-38, since December, have been seen traveling with Granny quite often...wonder what's going on there?...and today behind J-22, J-34 and J-2 were Cookie J-38 and Se-Yi-Chn J-45...J-45 is one of Granny's more direct family members...these two boys were goofing around as they came past the lighthouse not far behind the other three...these five whales were the trailing group...
...and as they were approaching close to shore, just up ahead, off shore, J-49 began breaching again...causing a dilemma for those who were taking pictures - which way to look???
...looking back at the recording the calls actually began at about 5:30 a.m.,woke me up at 6:a.m. and I didn't leave Lime Kiln until after the last whale had gone north...12:25 pm...

...someone asked why the whales were so spread out and if they did that often...answer: lack of food - lack of Chinook salmon
...have you heard or read about the four lower Snake River dams?  click on the link to read about the Southern Resident Killer Whale Salmon Initiative and consider signing the petition and get others to sign it too.  That is not the answer for immediate food for the whales, but it is a start to make sure they have it in the future.  It's important for the survival of this community of orcas.
Did you see them today or at anytime?  Were you touched by their presence?  Make sure they are around for future generations of humans and whales.

Live in Puget Sound?

Participate with Whale Scout as they team up with PenMet Parks for a beach cleanup and restoration event as part of Parks Appreciation Day. This area is occasionally traveled by Southern Resident orcas and is a favorite for whale watchers! Enjoy being outdoors on the water with friends and fellow orca lovers while making the south Sound a healthier place for killer whales...  link here to learn more about Whale Scout


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