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Friday, July 7, 2017

7-7-17 Transients Have Taken Over

I figure I better catch up before the Residents return :)...one of these days...

...J Pod, Onyx L-87, and the K14s had been north, returning back down along the west side in the morning of the 29th...
...I almost missed them...not a sound until the leader was at the lighthouse...one quick 'eek' and I was off and running...knowing some had already passed the park I got down island enough to catch up to the leader...
...glad I did - it was Lea K14.
...she was up ahead of Eclipse J-41 and Nova J-51, Shachi J-19 was just behind them, but Lea was a good distance ahead and she just kept on going...
I checked with Bob and his intern to verify who they had in the lead and Christy showed me an image of Lea...so their order had been the same when I saw them a bit farther down island...
...behind Shachi was Yoda K-36 and Lobo K-26...and then others...the J16s were together...some of the J17s...
...the whales weren't close to shore and there were several who were offshore, very far off...
...they stayed down island by several miles, started to come up in the afternoon but turned around...then closer to 8pm several came up island and passed the lighthouse...
...if you haven't seen the webcam for the lighthouse ...that evening some who were in close could be seen...eventually all went up island and after dark their blows could be heard as they passed by here...
...they were back up near the Fraser River on the 30th and woke me up 1:30 a.m. (middle of the night 7-1)...their calls were faint, indicating they were offshore and likely heading back out to sea...
...it's now July 7th and they haven't returned...yet...

...for the last several weeks the 'Ts' (Transient, aka Bigg's) orcas have been all over these inland waters...it's like there is a void so they are filling it...
...the Center for Whale Research stated that T37A-1 who hasn't been seen in several years, showed up this week with mom and other members of that family group!...I got down to Cattle Pass just in time to see one of the two groups...
...T37A and T37A-1 as the whales were coming up San Juan Channel...
...one usually has a better opportunity to see Transients from a boat than from shore but sometimes you get lucky...
...in the last few weeks Ts have often been in several places at the same time...just about everywhere except for along the west side...and then the T101s showed up coming up the west side of the island on July 6th...
...I heard a very faint sound and got to the park quickly...they were about 3/4 mile from shore and then moved in a bit closer and slowly made their way up island... 
...following them up island, I found these two bird watchers who turned into whale watchers!...and one of them hadn't ever seen killer whales before!...
...fun to be able to share about the orcas with them...


...then today the T35s and the T38s showed up along the west side, but about 3+ miles out...oh, well...
....Residents with faint calls when they were leaving, Ts with a few faint calls as they were coming up...maybe next time it will be Residents loud and clear as they come in following a huge run of salmon :)
...one can always hope, right?!

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