Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Sunday, November 22, 2015

11-22-15 The Hydrophones Are Great!

Sunday, November 22nd
...looking from the west side...a humpback going up island, late morning, about 2 miles off shore...
...a private boater coming down island about a quarter mile from shore...they stopped...Dall's porpoise proceeded to play around their boat (LOL) for close to a 1/2 hour...the folks just let the boat drift and the Dall's kept zooming all around...

...no killer whales did I see today...
...but last evening over the Port Townsend hydrophones at close to 8pm were the calls of K pod whales - sweet!...coming out of Puget Sound...
...I had heard there were some killer whales down there and by the description it sounded like some Residents, but I didn't have any idea as to who...this give confirmation as to at least some who were there...the calls lasted only about 10 minutes and there was a lot of ship (or maybe ferry) noise...



...then at about 4:15 a.m. this morning K pod calls again, only this time they were over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...they were more intermittent and more distant sounding but lasted closer to 45 minutes..

...I suspect they have headed back out...at least for today...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

11-21-15 Humpbacks Again

Saturday, November 21st
...out on Peregrine to go see...how many humpbacks?...it started out earlier in the day that there were several somewhere, possibly up to nine...
...not sure where they all went, but watching these two humpbacks might show just why it was such a challenge to find any of them this afternoon...


...it's two who have been up and down Haro Strait for at least the last week...BCY1057 and MMY0009 and have come here for multiple years...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

11-18-15 How About Eight Humpbacks!

Wednesday, November 18th
...day after the storms and calm water once again...out on Peregrine to see what we could see...Capt. Jim at the helm we head down the west side...and surprisingly we come upon...
...highly unusual...but this year there have been more sightings of California sea lions and a few times finding them hauled out in unusual places...

...changing directions we head up island...over the next one and a half hours we encounter 4 pairs...all within a few miles...and one single humpback off in the distance...




...the third pair we saw...
...here are these same two who were together on a sunny day - 11-15...

...the fourth pair...they only showed us their dorsal fins which isn't often much help...
...no image of the single humpback...

...that was definitely a bonanza of a humpback day!
...orcas?...well...no telling where the Residents will show up next...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

11-9-15 You Never Know what You Might See

Monday, November 9th
...yesterday was the Round the County Sailboat Race...always fun to see...with no wind I decided to get creative using the trees :)


...I was hoping to get a humpback in the mix...well one was in the mix, but I was so focused on who it was I missed getting the sailboats in the distance!

...while waiting for the boats to come down island a ways I was talking to a fella who was educating me about sailboats...
...he spotted this salamander...oh so tiny...a friend posted about this (not sure if the same species) just the day before and there were comments about it being toxic...hummmm...update:  this ia actually a rough-skinned newt and the only way it would be toxic is if you licked it...so no worries, except for maybe a doggie...
...this one was just about in hibernation/cold mode...we thought it was dead but moving it out of the path where it might get stepped on, it moved in slow motion...

...and my sailboat teaching friend is the one who first spotted the humpback!...glad he was there or I might have missed a lot :)

...in the middle of the night I was awakened by a humpback making many different sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...


...today there was no word of whales...late in the afternoon I could see Peregrine coming up the strait...I grabbed my binos to see what they were up to...and instead I saw a group of porpoise, but not Dall's because these animals were bringing their bodies completely above the surface...I thought they might be Pacific white sided dolphins...NOT...I found out later that it was a group of harbor seals!..really!...the whales might have been coming across and the seals were...well...you know why...and at some point in all this there were a couple very faint calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...

...it wasn't until about a half hour later and after much running here and there and back home again I just decided to look and wait - no wait necessary - there was an orca! Yikes!...and then more...

...T49A1 was present - most likely the rest of the family too, and it looked like the some of the T36As...oops!  I was wrong about it being the T36As...check out the Center for Whale Research's Encounter #97...it's a great video of those whales who went by...
...maybe T49A3 and ?

...and maybe a few others...its was a nice size group...

...only a few images...they were moving quickly!


Friday, November 6, 2015

11-6-15 Predictions- Nasty Weather and No Whales-HA!

Friday, November 6th
...the weather prediction was for strong winds...
...the prediction was we would most likely not see orcas...
...almost guaranteed prediction: we would not see Southern Residents... 

...out on Peregrine with Capt. Jim at the helm, we leave the harbor...it's not flat calm and the seas were beginning to build...uh, oh...Kelp Reef was very choppy...things were not looking good...
...we went north looking for a humpback blow...off in the distance a humpback surfaced about three times and then went down for a long dive...
...we get word that three killer whales were seen and a humpback...we go looking and along the way try to figure out how far those whales, if there actually were some, would have traveled up island by now...
...Capt. Jim says we head back down...just outside of Snug Harbor, where we had departed from a while ago...a humpback!...


...moments later, a short distance farther down an orca!...then two...first I ID Slick J-16 and then Mike J-26...
...and farther behind them was the rest of the family...
...big sister, Alki J-36 and her offspring, Sonic J-52 were present too...and we stayed with this group...of course...little kids, who doesn't love to see baby killer whales?!!...the little ones were definitely into play mode...

..most of my images of Sonic J-52 in the morning were of Sonic and Echo...but here is one of first time mom and calf...
...and the back to Sonic and Echo...

...we moved up island to see Mike and Slick...the seas were flat calm too...
...Mike was on his back, showing off his private parts and Slick breached a couple times...Mike rolled on to his side...



...a short while later, off in the distance Mike surfaces with his chin up and his mouth open...it appeared he might have a fish in his mouth...

...lousy picture, showed up better on the camera...there is something sticking out of the left side of his mouth...I can't be sure but his behavior and the birds afterward led me to think...

...often when a whale gets a fish they will be under the surface for a few minutes...when they surface again they usually move along...today Mike slipped back down under and surfacing moments later, he immediately began to travel, with purpose, toward his three sisters, Echo, Alki, and baby Scarlet, and his nephew, Sonic J-52...when he was in the vicinity of them gulls began to show up which is sometimes an indicator of fish scraps...
...the group of four came together and Mike continued on...whether he shared a fish with them or not, I can't tell, but it made me wonder...they do share food...
...it was time for us to go back to the harbor...


...about 45 minutes later when we came back out the whales had basically not gone anywhere...
...but Alki J-36 and her almost 8 month old, Sonic J-52, were heading in the opposite direction from the rest of the family...
...at one point they seemed to be a mile away...yet we knew they were in communication with each other...
...there was an approaching container ship, loaded, and Alki with Sonic kept going into the shipping lane...
...just before the ship got to them Alki surfaced and turned directly toward the ship.  Huh?!?...she must have been teaching Sonic something...whether about the noise of the ship and how to deal with it, the water changes when a big ship passes, what to stay out of the way of, or maybe how to surf the wake of a freighter...or other things a mother orca will teach her offspring that we humans don't have a clue about...
...the ship went on by, she was on the near side of the ship when she went down...several minutes later they surfaced again still moving to the south... 
...over to the rest of the family...
...Echo J-42 was in charge of, Scarlet J-50...

...they were nearer to Slick J-16...Mike J-26 was off doing his own thing...
...all six of them were in the same up/down line in Haro Strait as opposed to being on one side of the strait or the other, if that makes any sense...
...oh, and another humpback...
...we knew that Alki and Sonic were heading back up and I was hoping to get one image of the four of them back together... 
...we left them and headed over toward Battleship Island to see if there were any harbor seals... there were and in addition to the harbor seals was a LION!
Yes!...a few years ago a nine year old girl on the boat saw the lion...
hint:  profile of a male lion - amazing...today the passengers saw the lion too!
...it has to be the right angle and with the grey skies it really showed well... 

...I snapped a pic of Lime Kiln lighthouse in the distance...
...not that late in the day but the beacon was on...and another image of snow on the Olympic mountains...not much but after a season of no snow (very unusual)...
...then Dall's porpoise showed up on our way to or from Kelp Reef to see the Steller sea lions...then we headed to the harbor...only to have me knock on the cabin door to let them know there was another humpback out there!

...almost in and a bald eagle took flight from the rock pile at the harbor entrance...


...it's November 6th - what a day! 

...and as I was going through images of the day, the J16s came over the Orca Sound hydrophones...that was at about 6:00pm and again after 10:00 pm

 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

11-1-15 Beyond Words-What Animals Think and Feel - Book Review

Beyond Words
Last spring I was invited to write a review for the book Beyond Words, What Animals Think and Feel, by Carl Safina.  The busy season with killer whales was just beginning for me so reading and reviewing a book - which I had never done before, would have to wait. However, I took a few moments to read the jacket.  There inside the front cover was one statement that immediately 'caught' me. 

Now it is fall and I have read the book. Carl Safina drew me in and kept me there from cover to cover.  So much learned and examined, it was not easy to put it down, except of course if the killer whales were nearby.  In this book, Beyond Words, What Animals Think and Feel, Carl Safina writes about many animals, from elephants to wolves, killer whales (orcas), the tiniest of insects to tigers and pet pooches.  He brings in science, but only to the point of making a point and not causing my eyes to become like a deer in headlights, if you know what that expression means. So many times I found myself saying, "Wow," and other times pausing to just take it all in.  It gives me chills (the good kind) when I think of some of the things I learned, I ruminated about, I questioned, and I was astounded about.  Oh, and laugh?...you may find yourself with a big smile and sometimes laughing out loud!

No matter which species, he weaved the what and the who together in an interesting and yet educational manner. You may find yourself rejoicing on one page, feeling sad on the next, and then hopeful for the future, as humans recognize there is more to animals than being an 'it'.  The world is full of stories about animals and this book brings to the surface their essence.  You may find yourself looking at and thinking about things in a different way. I cannot thank him enough for writing this book.  Get it!  I think you will be glad you did. 

Sincerely, Jeanne Hyde
San Juan Island, WA
Blog:  Whale of A Purpose

Click on the book to learn more.