Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/28-30/15 A Plethora of Variety

Sunday-Tuesday, June 28-30th
...and it continues on the same...
...except that on the 30th some L pod whales were seen!
...the J16s, of course, who stayed south again and evidently went west in the night, were seen coming back in toward the west side and not far from there were other whales spotted coming...I heard they were the L12s, but I wasn't out there and didn't see them...
...all day long they stayed south...each year it used to be the L12s who 'took up residency' down there, but in the last few years others have taken their turn spending time in that down island area...
...some of the days Granny and her group - Group A and sometimes Group A Minus (minus the J16s) would either be going up island in the morning or down island in the early evening...but who and when were ever changing...
...and some of the time I watched from shore and other times from the Peregrine...
...while waiting for whales a kingfisher showed up...
...a little while later...
...glad to be there early in the morning...sun had reached the whales off shore but not the whales who were in shore right in front of me...


...out on Peregrine and up to Boundary Pass...now I think I know why J-50 is having to 'CatchUp' all the time...she's goofing around so much!
...J-50 was on her back along side of mom, while mom took a breath...'CatchUp' didn't need to catch up this time...but soon she might!
...off in the distance as we entered the Strait of Georgia...
...on the 29th some went up in the morning...

...others came up and back down in the afternoon...the west side - busy with whales...
...June 30th...if you know my blog you already know I like to get these kinds of trees and whale pics...they are usually out of focus...I got lucky this time!
...June 30th...while waiting for the whales I noticed the Heermann's gulls are back...very cool.
They skim across the surface, using their feet for momentary brakes and get a fish with their beak and eat it as they keep on flying!
...then a Minke (pronounced mink-key) surfaced!...and kept on several times, heading down island...
...still waiting for the whales...not sure if this person knew how cold this water is and I wasn't sure of his intentions, so I kept watch for a couple reasons his well being and the whales' (who were still farther to the north)...but he got out of the water rather quickly...so all was well...
...and then they came...and even those who have seen these whales more times than you might imagine were still in awe...
...what a great way for us humans to end the day...hope the whales find enough food to fill up and keep on going...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

6/26-27/15 Did The Whales 'Get' You?

Friday/Saturday, June 26-27th
It's more than a full time job just trying to keep track of who is where, and who is with who!

But First:  a message from a concerned whale watcher - me
...if you watch or watched the whales from land or sea and you continue to use harmful to the environment chemicals and other harmful products then you just didn't 'get' the whales...
...if you watch or watched the whales and have gone home asking yourself the things that you could do differently and are making changes then 'the whales got you'...
Which is it for you?  I hope 'the whales got you', because it will change how you look at everything from now on, and that is something that is sorely needed for the environment now and into the future.


Over the last three days...
...there has been so much whale activity along the west side that maybe the whales need to check in at the lighthouse as they pass by...
...one day the J19 family group with baby J-51 stayed with the J16 family group with two babies - J-50 and J-52, while Granny's group - Group A - and the K14s went north...
 ...at 27 minutes past midnight J pod calls woke me up over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...I found out later that it was actually the J16s and the J19s who went north and met up with Group A and the K14s...
...while this was going on there were whales coming in from the west...lost in the fog one of those days, only to turn up in two places the next morning...the K12s and K13s made their way up island, very spread out, moving slowly...now that's the way to 'check in at the lighthouse'...the others were seen heading back west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...they too were Residents...not sure who though...

...some of the time I watched the whales from shore and other times I was out on Peregrine...
  
...just about every condition - rain (though not enough to amount to anything), hot, hot, hot with no wind unless the boat was going fast, rough seas, rolly seas, flat calm seas that looked like glass...












...watching the whales' behaviors has me wondering just how much salmon they are getting...people see whales and they are thrilled and that is good...but are the whales 'thrilled' at how they are doing?...that, to me, is the most important question...



Thursday, June 25, 2015

6-25-15 Group A and the K14s Today

Friday, June 25th
...Group A (which includes the J16s) and the K14s came back down from the north in the night and back up the west side in late morning...



...it looked like they were going to keep going north but of course they didn't - they flipped at Kellett Bluff and headed back down...
...out on Peregrine for a late afternoon trip...the J16s were by themselves before heading toward the other group which we soon went off to see...
...they were crossing the bottom of Lopez Island...


...they consisted of Granny J-2, Samish J-14, Hy'Shqa J-37, T'ilem I'nges J-49, Suttles J-40, Se-Yi-Chn J-45, Lea K-14, Yoda K-36, Kelp K-42, and Onyx L-87 nearby.  Behind them a short distance were Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, baby J-51, with Lobo K-26 nearby.

...when we left them they were still heading east...


Notes:
...the K14s have spent time with Group A in recent years, so this is not something new...
...the K12s, K13s, and the 15 L pod whales went west in Juan de Fuca Thursday morning...
...I think the most recent day Group B, Cappuccino K-21, Opus K-16, and Sonata K-35 were seen was on June 21st...it is most likely they have gone out west...

...hardly any burp sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones in the last few days...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6-24-15 Glad the Whales Know What They Are Doing

Monday-Wednesday, June 22-24

...glad the whales know what they are doing, because we surely don't!

Monday
...one whale coming down from the north...it was Cali K-34...all by himself, or so it seemed...15 minutes later the rest of the K13s showed up, the K14s, the K12s, Granny's group - Group A, including the J16s, and the 15 L pod whales...

...back to the north late in the day...the mix of whales was different...and the glaring sun didn't help matters...
...Granny's group - Group A and NOT the J16s, the K12s, K13s, K14s, and the L55s and possibly the L86s, and L27...and NOT the L47s...



...Group B, Cappuccino K-21 and the K16s had stayed down with the J16s...


Tuesday
...coming down from the north were the sames ones who had gone up the prior afternoon - whew!

...out on Peregrine a couple of the kids sure looked to be having some fun!
...in the late afternoon, spread out whales...heading up island...grouped up together...the same whales who had come down earlier in the day AND Nigel L-95...AND this time they turned and went back down island...

Wednesday
...early morning going north...glimpse of members of Group A and the J16s, and Lobo K-26 in my pics...and they kept going north...
...and then two other groups both going up and then back and both about 5 miles apart...
...10:00 a.m. the 15 L pod whales - all together again - coming up island...
...but by 11:00 a.m. they turned and were coming back down island.
...at the same time K pod whales were coming up island and turned and went back down island...

...about an hour later the 15 Ls came up island and a couple miles behind them the K pod whales in a tight group...
...guess what they did next? 
...yes, you're right, only this time they moved about 3 miles offshore and headed back down Haro Strait...

...tomorrow I think I'll start at square 1 again! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6-23-15 Whale Rumors

scroll down for new post about 6-21...

updated June 24th -  only 9 hours left to get your shirt to help and to show your support of saving these endangered whales!

Saturday, June 20th

...after a rumor was started that there was a superpod inbound on Saturday afternoon and all the whale community around these parts was a buzz - partially because maybe just maybe the whales would be here for Orca Sing, an event that goes on each year around summer solstice...
...well the whales did make it in but not to the summer solstice event...there was NOT a superpod in the true sense of the word...J pod, K pod, and the 15 L pod whales were the ones who made it in...there are about 18 others who were not present...
...someone suggested he start a rumor - what would it be?
a few chimed in and the best answer was that the whales would be wearing the Breach the Lower 4 Snake River Dams T-shirt! 
 
...now if you don't want to be upstaged by a whale then you better hurry up and order your shirt!  Updated 6/24 - it's the last day to order.  (11:49 a.m.) Only 9 hours left! These shirts won't be available after 9 hours!  

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...
video
...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.