Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Saturday, November 18, 2017

11-18-17 Lime Kiln Hydrophones From Overload to Complete Silence!

Friday and Saturday, November 17th and 18th

Friday:
...when I was awakened at about 3:00 a.m. to a humpback making sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones, the sounds were intermittent, and it didn't sound like practicing a song...but the humpback just kept on, every so often, I was awake now...
...good thing...because all of a sudden there were J Pod calls...though very faint...I didn't hear any K or L Pod calls at this point.
...I was awake now...


...by about 5 a.m. the calls had ended...
...there had been J Pod calls, some K and some L Pod calls...
...direction?...no way of knowing...

...later in the day I reviewed the recording from last night(11/16)...and I was so surprised to find that there were calls at (general time):
- 10pm - a few 
- 11pm - midnight - several over the hour
- midnight to 1 a.m. - almost the entire hour!

...then no calls until about 2:50 a.m.
...that's when the humpback came on the scene.
...and somewhere in it all, what sounded like a barking California sea lion.

It was a very busy night!

Saturday
...8:00 a.m. I hear one high-speed burst of what may have been echolocation clicks, lasting no more that a second...
...once again - hit the record button and bolt out the door, this time remembering to take my cell phone with me...
...I get to Lime Kiln lighthouse and for some reason, instead of my usual of looking south first, I looked north - Oh, my!  I see blows! 
...then I see three killer whales miles and miles away...
...listening to the hydrophones I hear nothing...
...the next three hours I watch as these totally silent whales make their way down Haro Strait...I couldn't tell how many but way more than the three I had originally seen...
...no vocals, no echolocation clicks...they didn't look to be in a resting pattern as they were spread out, traveling in small groups...


...I know better than to try to ID off of 'killer whale dot' images on my camera...but I looked and at one point one looked like T2C2 because of the shape of his dorsal fin from his scoliosis of the spine...but when I got the image on the computer at home it wasn't even close...looked more like another was surfacing at the same time was all..

...then when Mark Malleson saw the killer whales he let me know there were a lot more than I thought...so I looked at my camera images again...and there - an open saddle patch!
...the Residents had come down island for over three hours completely silent over the Lime Kiln hydrophones!  I had recorded the entire time and was listening as well during those hours, and nothing.  This evening I went back and listened to the three hours and nothing!  Silence!

You may need some really strong glasses to even see the whales in these images!  I know I needed some really strong binos just to see them. 










...hope you enjoyed your journey down Haro Strait with the whales today :)


...I went along the road and pulled off...a few minutes later Capt. Jim pulls up and we chat...as he is leaving he said he had room on the boat if I wanted.  "I'll be there!"
...gee, maybe I'd get to see who really was out there today! 

Adding a footnote:  While watching the whales coming down Haro, there was a person standing nearby who received a text message that said:  whales were seen between Cattle Pass and Eagle Cove and they were seen from a float plane.
That might have been the K Pod whales who were way south the day before.  
There were plenty of whales that came down Haro but not enough to equate to J Pod, the L54s, and K Pod - which would have been over 45 whales. 
 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11-16-17 J Pod Was Here Today !

Thursday, November 16th

...I had been thinking about when the whales showed up the day before and the day of Thanksgiving in 2013...and then I thought about how I almost had a scheduled today to dig into some archives with someone...

...well, glad it's not Thanksgiving yet...and glad the archive-digging didn't happen...
...I am now about convinced that J Pod reads my emails!

...at just before 8 a.m. I heard a call that made me think that J Pod was here...I bolt out the door and go to Lime Kiln where I have a good scanning view...the calls were not in close but they were clearly in Haro Strait and not terribly far away...
Oh, and the Park Rangers put up the Christmas wreaths on the lighthouse yesterday...so I took the opportunity...
...I continued down island and then up island and scanned for the next hour and a half...nothing...
...I get back home and play back the recording and there I find 3 calls, spread apart by several minutes: 8:35, 8:50, and 8:58 a.m. and that was it.  

...I continued listening and nothing...
...1:00pm Capt. Jim calls me to tell me that J Pod whales are coming down Haro Strait but are north of Sidney Island, some on the east side of Haro...and later I find that some are on the west side of Haro...
...that might explain who I heard in the morning and why the calls were so brief and spread...I certainly don't know the answer for sure...however, it might explain why the calls were so few and far between...the Lime Kiln hydrophones will pick up calls between some of the Canadian Gulf Islands...example...the first time documented is when I was at Lime Kiln and Simon was with Transients. They were behind some of those islands and when they crossed one of the passes, I think it's Hughes Pass, the Lime Kiln hydrophones would pick up their calls when they were in that opening, which was only for a few moments...
...so maybe J Pod was 'wandering' around in and among some of those places earlier in the day...
...I went to County Park to watch and wait...the whales stalled out at Kellett Bluff and looked to be spread across for three or more miles...they were foraging and not going anywhere...glad I was dressed warmly :)
...after about 1 1/2 hours a few began moving down island...they were not in close, but they were here and appeared to be eating...
...soon I went to Lime Kiln to watch them...still spread out all across the strait..
...I only saw a few, Slick J-16, Scarlet J-50 'catching up' again, Echo J-42 who was with Scarlet for a while, then she moved offshore...I also saw Shachi J-19...several males in the distance...could only make out Mike J-26...



...here's a sample of what they sounded like this afternoon...

...and the end of the day...well it was nice to see the whales...know they are under that beautiful sky...


...who knows where they will be tomorrow...
...we don't know for sure, unless someone up north has seen J Pod at least 8 days ago...I say 8 days because they can circumnavigate Vancouver Island in 10 days...and it has been 14 days since we last heard from J Pod...That was on the Lime Kiln hydrophones and it was thought they had gone north...
...maybe they were feasting on that strong chum salmon run, that was really good in many locations or maybe they had heard about the huge Chinook salmon that had made it to the Wonnack River, Canada...
...glad the mystery of 'where had J Pod gone' is solved enough to know they were here today!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

11-2-17 Busy Days for the Lime Kiln Hydrophones

Thursday, November 2nd

...October 30th...in my last post J Pod calls had been on the Lime Kiln hydrophones very, very briefly...that was it...
...October 31st...they were evidently not seen anywhere...
...November 1st...they were heard over the Port Townsend hydrophones late in the afternoon...and nothing after that...
...November 2nd...today...stormy day...nothing on the Port Townsend or the Lime Kiln hydrophones...AND THEN...4:32pm, J Pod calls 'burst' over the Lime Kiln hydrophones! Wow! What?! They were in Haro Strait...but where...
...off at a run to Lime Kiln to see if I could find them...
...as I was listening to their calls, I heard some K Pod 'kitten' sounding call...I also heard a few of the L Pod 'up-tick' call (S19)...and of course J Pod calls...
...The L54 group makes the 'kitten' call too, but these calls continued on for so long, that it seemed that some K Pod whales were present...
...difficult to know which part of the 2 1/2 hours of recording to share, but here's a bit of what went on...


..dilemma - rough seas and whales miles from shore!

...many want to know who was there...well, with that situation it is impossible to tell who was present, but we do know that some J Pod whales were present, think some K Pod whales were present and know that some L Pod whales were present...from the calls, the K Pod 'kitten call' (S16) was quite dominant, J Pod was as well...and there were many times throughout with echolocation clicks...L Pod signature call (Up-tick) was not as dominant, but I did hear some L Pod calls that we don't hear all the time. Those echolocation clicks - foraging!  

...fast forward to November 4, (because I am actually writing this on 11/4) the L54s showed up today coming down Waldron Island (thank you San Juan Safaris for that!)...which adds another piece to the puzzle...were they here on the 2nd or were they somewhere else on that day?!  If they were here and they were part of the participants in that spectacular audio encounter, did the others go north as well?  If they did it seems they were very quiet when they did...


So it's a mystery and might just remain that way...doesn't matter, we need to focus on the salmon for these whales and repairing this ecosystem too, so these whales will be able to survive.

...why are the whales here now?...well, it seems that chum salmon are still coming in...on November 1st there was a fishing seiner on the west side. I only saw the one and it was setting its net. There could have been more down island out of my view, but I don't know. I also learned from Simon of Ocean Ecoventures that there were fishing seiners up near Samsun Narrows, where evidently chum salmon are as well, why else might seiners be there...that might explain why J Pod went up Trincomali Channel on Oct 24th...it's has not been a 'normal' route for them...

...in addition, in the last few days the birds, bait fish, and seals have been quite active, and next in line should be salmon coming through, though they are not easy to spot...
...HOWEVER...the whales seemed to be doing lots of foraging...lots of echolocation clicks over the Lime Kiln hydrophones over that long, spectacular listening session...

...interested in banning open net pens in Washington State?...upper left column on this blog is a link to a petition...it's not my petition...but I signed and think it would be a good thing to allow the Salish Sea to be free of open net pens of farmed Atlantic salmon...just trying to help the author of the petition get those signatures to take to the State.

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