Saturday, November 18, 2017

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

Friday and Saturday, November 17th and 18th

...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... about 5 a.m. the calls had ended...
...there had been J Pod calls, some K and some L Pod calls...
...direction? 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!

...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... 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 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 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. 

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