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Thursday, October 22, 2015

10-22-15 Transient Calf and Family Begin Their Fall Visit

Thursday, October 22nd
...out on Peregrine with Andy and Jeff to go see some Transient orcas that Simon, of Ocean Ecoventures, happened upon early this morning...

...yesterday I had heard that the whales with the bright white marks on some of their fins had shown up in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...well, those are none other than the T038s and most likely the T035s, who most often are with them...
...in October 2013 they showed up for the first time ever in these waters...they are known whales of the regional transient community...you can tell because the number is so low...T = transient/marine mammal eating orca and # = the order in which first seen...and since the matriline number is reaching close to T200 (won't that be neat!) that let's you know how long they have been being accounted for...(hope that makes sense)...

...as far as I know there are still 4 animals in the T035 group and 5 animals in the T038 group...
...BUT, when we got on scene...we only saw a total of 5 animals...it took a while to figure it all out...
...T038A (A = 1st offspring of T038) had a calf by her side...these two were traveling together the entire time, but I wasn't aware of her having had an offspring...in the few years they've been seen here, they show up in October...
it's October and they showed up with a calf that was born earlier in the year...
...Jared Towers of Dept of Fisheries and Oceans, Nanimo, B.C. confirmed that T038A had a calf earlier in 2015...we are getting to see it here for the first time.

...there were three others together...T035A, T035A1 (in this case 1 = 1st offspring of T035A, who is the 1st offspring of T035), and T035A2...a bit confusing at first, but this is actually great because the animal is always connected to the matriline even if, in this tranisent community, they don't always stay connected with their family...different from the Southern Residents in that way...



...during the time we were with them they made three kills...this group had a style and it was quite obvious...T035A, T035A1, and T035A2 were together and T038A and calf were together, traveling parallel and spread several hundred yards...there was a lunge at the surface and that was it...they traveled for several minutes and then one of them spyhopped...they proceeded to eat...they would be down for a few minutes then surface and move on...fascinating to watch their 'routine'...for today anyway...
...it looked like they were going to go through Active Pass, but instead chose Trincomali Channel...




...
...time for more to eat...
...love these 'hidden' shots...
...now for the rest of these two families to show up...
 

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