Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Sunday, June 21, 2015

6-21-15 Transients-Low Flying Plane-and SRKWs

Sunday, June 21st
...early morning Sunday, I hear one whistle (yes, killer whales whistle) over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...out the door I run, jamming my thumb - which would come back to haunt me later in the day...
...when I got to the park I saw nothing except water...down to Land Bank I went - nothing...farther down island - nothing...maybe they moved offshore...
-lookie here!...but it wasn't Residents it was a large group of Ts! - totally cool!
...okay, so miles away...I got a hold of Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research...and then I tried to keep track of the Ts until he got out there...
...so now I was going back up island stopping to pick up the Ts who were 3 to 4 miles from shore...at least they were heading steadily up...but since they were taking 4 to 5 minute dives...well...
...back at Land Bank I picked up the Ts again and then Residents started to appear close to shore! yikes! off to the lighthouse...
...okay, there...but I needed to relocate the Ts and get pictures of the Residents...no wonder I'm so tired all summer :)...
...a few of the L55s came up past the light, were echolocating and also showing some direction changes...

...and then comes a low flying plane...it was coming up island and turned in toward the lighthouse and got even lower...no floats on this airplane...hmmm...I wonder what the aviation rules are out there about planes with no floats flying so low - two other people who saw the plane said it was about 100 feet above the water...oh, and there were whales present too...
...you can hear the whales echolocating and the noise of the airplane...I think the plane was buzzing the lighthouse - is that legal? - and I don't think they even knew that whales were present because they were looking toward us and not looking down...and they just kept on going...

...I thought it was interesting that as the plane flew over, the echolocating stopped for several seconds...it didn't appear that the echolocating was drowned out by the plane but it more appeared that the whales stopped...but I don't know...curious...

...out on Peregrine at 10 a.m. with Capt. David...we headed straight across to see the transients who are considered exotics (because they are not or are rarely seen in these waters)...very exciting for everyone...some folks saw them the prior day...but I think that's it...it was a first for many others including me...
...you would think this is kelp...but it's not...it's pink and it's guts!

...she has a big 'can opener' kind of notch at the base of her dorsal fin...

...back in 2010 I started cataloging the transients I had photographed in these waters figuring there wouldn't be that many...well, I'm now close to 200 transients from this wide ranging community...and that includes about 12 new ones this year...the transient book that I have is updated every year in about March...but then comes all these 'new to me' ones and of course new babies and it's difficult to keep up with them all!


...we left the Ts and came back over to the other side of Haro Strait...the Residents were spread for miles, several had already gone north...we met up with some of the L47s and Nigel L-95...later on we saw the J16 family group...they were the last of the ones who went north...
...there was another split group today - Group A, the 15 L pod whales, K pod except for Cappuccino K-21 and Opus K-16 and her boy Sonata K-35 - I didn't see them at all but Dave from CWR kept me up to date...

...with other Residents way north and still others south, we headed back over to the transients...the three family groups of Ts, with two new babies this year - T75B2 and T36A3 were all grouped up every encounter we had with them today...

...we saw more of the Ts today than we saw of the Residents...but they'll be back down soon.

p.s. for anyone who is aware of the burp sounds (fish I believe)...well, there had only a few a day, and sometimes none that I heard, for a couple weeks...then starting on the 18th of June and continuing through the 19th, the early morning hours of the 20th, and more, were about the most burp sounds I have heard in months...the whales were spotted on the 20th at 2:30 in the afternoon coming in from the west...no doubt following some salmon in...I can't prove it, but the tracking of the burps is becoming more and more reliable!
here's when I first posted about the burp sounds
You can also search this blog (left hand column is the search box) for 'fish sounds' and it will pull up other posts about it. 


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