Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, September 26, 2015

9-26-15 Who is Making That Repetitive Call?

Saturday, September 26th
...look at this morning...the Residents had gone out yesterday or at least they were not seen by anyone...would they be gone a long time this time or come back in...those Ts - would they show up again...no time better than now to go look...
...and look at that water...too beautiful for there to not be whales...somewhere!
...fog was attempting to block that view...but it didn't last very long...when it cleared, serious scanning began...a few boats here and there and one tiny boat way in the distance...hummm...who might that be?..."just watch that boat." I thought...
...and it wasn't long before "was that a blow?"...it took a while but soon it all came together...you have to take every clue you can to see if it might just fit...and this time it did! - yes!  orca!

...a while later, at the park, there were some whales approaching...they were not moving very fast...and there was one I could hear over the hydrophones - a K pod whale...immediately I wondered if it was Cali...sure enough!
...what was more interesting is that Lea K-14, Lobo K-26, and Granny J-2 were the next whales to come along...


...they are not common in these waters...this one seems to call this his home now...at least for a while...
...fisherman turned whale watcher - yes!


...behind them and farther offshore were Scoter K-25 and his mom, Skagit K-13...and behind them a short distance were Rainshadow K-37 and his mom, Sequim K-12 - but where was her youngest, Saturna K-43?
...along came Deadhead K-27 and her offspring Ripple K-44...
...then no calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones for a while...
...about a dozen whales had gone up island a few miles...

...33 minutes later a faint K pod call began over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...but no whale could be seen...one call, repeated over and over again...it gradually increased in volume as the whale got into the park and closer to the hydrophones...at one point I was beginning to wonder if it was something else because it changed to more/closer frequency and seemed to be at exact intervals (well, duh, they are orcas and can do that!) and almost continuous...
...of course it was a whale...the whale surfaced coming up island and was very close to shore...she made some of these repetitive calls as she was passing close to the hydrophones (they were loud) she surfaced enough times for an ID shot...and then she was down again with the repetitive call continuing...a private boat was approaching...her call was less repetitive and then stopped...the boat also had stopped...she surfaced again, continuing up island, after being down for close to two minutes...
(note to those who heard her calls while at Lime Kiln...found out later that the hydrophones streaming on-line had gone down, so we were very lucky to hear what we heard!)
...when they had gone up island Saturna K-43 was in close on the shoreline...her mother was close to a 1/2 mile offshore...
...ten minutes later the whales had turned and were coming back down island...
...Saturna was surfacing next to her mother - happy ending :)
...yes, it was another whale day in the San Juan Islands...from Humpback whales all over the place, to Minke whales, Dall's porpoise...and even an inquisitive fox looking for food in exchange for a photo...(please don't feed)
...and Surf Scoters...it was the lighting that made this interesting to me...
...and the new road to the south end of the island - WOW!...the view is even more stunning than before...I'll just need higher powered binoculars...

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