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Thursday, February 16, 2017

2-16-17 K Pod Was With J Pod Today

Thursday, February 16th
...9:35 a.m. - faint Southern Resident calls...
...out the door...
...located one of them!...several miles from shore...then another...
...they appeared to be coming in from Discovery Island direction and heading across...
...the seas were lumpy and it was starting to rain...
...ran into Michael the Orca airplane fella who now lives in the middle east...he was surprised to see whales and glad they were here so his friend from Japan could see them...
...funny thing to see 'Michael' because this post is mainly about Mike - the orca - J-26 that is...


...three whales were already past the lighthouse...
...then came Eclipse J-41 and Nova J-51, and another surfaced at a tough-to-ID angle...but it looked like Moby J-44...
...some whales were very far offshore...the only way I saw them was because of the splash from some surface action...
...the hydrophones 'told me' that the whales who were close were J Pod and that some of the distant whales were J and K pod whales...been a long while since we've heard K pod calls.

...then Mike J-26 shows up...close in...
...farther off were his sister, Alki J-36 and her offspring, Sonic J-52...


...Mike, Alki, and Sonic were the nearest and were moving up island at a steady but not fast pace...
...they pass the lighthouse and a few minutes later Mike surfaces near a kelp bed where he often forages and seemed to begin showing forage behavior...
...but a moment later he surfaces traveling at a fast pace, across Haro Strait in the other direction and toward Discovery Island...first thought was that he was after a salmon...but when he kept on going...and going...
...it was about 11:30 when I last saw him still traveling away at a fast pace...

...a long time later at about 12:55 the rest of the J16s came back down island and spent time foraging offshore (a good distance) from the lighthouse...

...Slick moved up island leaving Echo J-42 and Scarlet J-50 traveling together... a good distance behind them came Alki and Sonic back up island...
...offshore of them was Mike...it was now 1:15...
...no telling what he had been doing for the last 2 hours...maybe he found some salmon somewhere...

...they continued up island slowly...Dave from the Center for Whale Research told me he last saw Mike at about 5:15 between Kellett Bluff and Battleship Island...after what Mike did earlier who knows where the rest of the family was...
...all the others were far up ahead at Turn Pt...

...so the question is...will the J16s catch up with the rest of J Pod and K Pod or will they split off like they sometimes do...


...so here's what my camera said: images of some members of most of the family groups in J Pod - J44, J39, J16s, J41 and J51, and most of the family groups in K Pod - K33, K37, K25, K26...
...and here's another I found...also gives you an idea of how far from shore most of them were...I kept deliberating between Onyx L-87 and Sonata K-35...


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