Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

3-28-17 Ship Noise

'A Key to Quieter Seas: half the ship noise comes from 15% of the fleet (deep sea vessels).

For someone who listens to the hydrophones just about 24/7 and 365, this document is awesome.

It's a must read about ships and the noise they are creating and impacts it is having on sea life.

Now that it's documented maybe it will get to the forefront and something will be done about it.  

Here's hoping...


Saturday, March 25, 2017

3-25-17 The Island Was Surrounded By Orcas Today

Saturday, March 25th
...it began with a sighting of orcas nearing the northeast side of San Juan Island...
...I headed over to Ruben Tarte Park to see if I could see them...way in the distance I could see a couple blows...and right in front of me, all over the place, were harbor porpoise...

...and oh, what a trip...wow! about sums it up...


...just about every behavior you could think of, by the whales, and so many various lighting ops - quite the trip!...




...and the beautiful, peaceful, calm images of them...

...we left the whales and headed up to Spieden Island...

...back at the dock I headed for my car hoping to make it to the southern end of San Juan Channel...

...stopped to fuel the car before returning home...walk in the house, turn on the speaker to the hydrophones that had been recording, and almost immediately I hear J Pod calls! yikes! J Pod had come back in...
...then I remembered that Andy told me that there was an opening for salmon fishing...and one more thing I remembered - I had heard those fish sounds or burps on the hydrophones last night!  duh...no wonder J Pod came back in...they got the announcements too.
...last year the hydrophones had been relocated a bit farther out and deeper, so now when you hear the whales on the hydrophones you might think they are closer than they actually are.  It used to be that you could NOT hear their echolocation clicks from much distance and now you can...
...this time instead of heading for Lime Kiln I went to County Park hoping to have not missed the leaders...
...here's who I saw...
...and here are the others that I saw...instead of IDing them I thought you might like to practice...


...they were very spread out, and I only got IDs on 7, and saw a few more...
...then things got quiet and a while later more calls began...were these the ones coming back down or were they the rest of J Pod and presumably Onyx L-87 going up?  Another mystery we'll have to wait to resolve
And here's about how I felt at the end of this day
...there certainly was, and still is, a smile on my face...

an add: a wondering...

 
 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

3/18-19/17 Orcas - Where? Who?

Saturday/Sunday, March 18/19th

...so J Pod and Onyx L-87 had gone west...a day to work on firewood...
...just got finished at about 4:30...walking into the house...phone rings..."are you hearing Transient calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones?"...
...I hit the record button...listened...waiting, waiting...then one call that sounded more like an S4, faint, but it would be J Pod if it was...bolted out the door and to Land Bank, thinking that if it was Ts then they wouldn't be close in and I might be able to see them better with the choppy seas...
...I went to Land Bank and with no hydrophone access, hearing ability was nil so where the heck do I look first - it's all white caps out there!
...I got lucky, I spotted blows just off the park, "oh, gee, the one time I don't go to the lighthouse and they are right in front of it!"...but I would later find out something that caused me to do some detective work the next day...

...David and Barbara arrived and David commented that there were a lot of echolocation clicks on the hydrophones - more likely Residents because Ts are not known to echolocate in that manner...David knows...
(note:  the hydrophones were moved last year causing changes in how close the whales might be when echolocating)
...the wind was blowing up island, so the blows were going that way too...but it took several minutes before they surfaced again...

...I saw the blows again (see the xx's on the above images) and this time a male's dorsal fin...David and Barbara went to Lime Kiln, I was right behind them and then decided to head to County Park to see if there were any other whales up ahead...
...Val and Leslie, who I had seen at Land Bank had moved on to County Park, not necessarily looking for the orcas but lucky for me Val spotted a blow far offshore...
...David and Barbara didn't show up at County Park so I wondered if they were seeing whales at Lime Kiln...(I learned later that no one had seen the whales. - correction on that - I learned even later than that, that they were seen by a few people as they passed by the park!)
...I watched these blows until they got closer, they were taking long dives...a small group coming up island, quite far off, a female with a juvenile and then an adult male...and since I had on my 'transients!' mind set, I was running through who it might be...
...I just took as many images as possible hoping I might get 'something' to ID later...
...okay, off to the next spot, a different view...

...back home listening to the hydrophones, this time Lime Kiln and Orca Sound there were clear J Pod calls a few times, distant calls that were difficult to even hear...and they sounded as if they were continuing up island...the last of the calls were heard off Lime Kiln hydrophones but only a couple and there is a location to the north where Lime Kiln will pick them up when Orca Sound doesn't...so the 'assumption brain' was still at work that they were going up...
...three pieces to this short clip from different times throughout the day...

video

...I had missed the first few minutes of people hearing calls and from what I did record I re-listened to the recording and found up two 'suspect' vocals that could have been Transients...on this recording is one from early on and then there was one, a bit different, from later in the day...but that was it...

...on to March 19th...'assumption brains' still going...a large group of whales spotted far offshore off the southern end of the island in the morning, well they just had to be Ts...right?
...going part way down island I was spotting to see if I could see them, when a small group - one adult male, a female and possibly one or two others, surfaced much closer than where Ivan of the Western Prince was watching that large group...these were others!
...I saw them in two surfacing sequences but too far off for any images and I didn't see them again.  An hour or so later one of the boats located whales even farther south and west - a small group of 3 and then they saw a large group about 2 miles to the south of the small group!  
...Wow! It was J Pod!...now I am wondering who was in that small group of 3...was it Slick, Mike, and Scarlet again?

...fun stuff...
...more importantly: did they come back in so quickly because they were following salmon in - assumption is yes...and did they then leave so quickly because there wasn't that much salmon that had come in?

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

3-16-17 J Pod Being J Pod

Thursday, March 16th
...no one was sure as to where J Pod had gone the other night, but it was believed they had gone north...the last of their calls I had heard over the Orca Sound hydrophones and that was at about midnight...but without eyes on them one can be certain...
...today they 'magically' appeared just north of Friday Harbor, in San Juan Channel and they were thought to be coming down toward the entrance to Friday Harbor...but they stalled out a short distance north of there...my guess is that they got into some salmon, because soon they were heading up the channel...
...off to the north end of the island...
...J Pod was spread out...Mike off foraging in one area, Onyx in another, and Blackberry was way off from others...some were very close to the beach on Waldron Island...while others were going every which way...





...Onyx appeared from off in the distance to right here!

barely there, but - wow! video

...it is the first time I have heard them under the surface without hydrophones...likely because everything 'lined up'...in an area where there is no possibility of ship noise, happened there we no other boats moving through the area, no one on the boat was talking, seas were calm, no wind...and luckily chatty Onyx and a few others...a special moment I think all of us on the boat felt.
...and this image sums it up for me...
...peace, calm, living, being...
...everyone has moments of all kinds throughout their day/week to cherish...we just have to stop long enough to realize some of them...

...a different kind of moment that brought out the 'hurry-get the camera!'...
...thank you Maya's Legacy Charters and Capt. Jim at the helm!
Who/what did I see today?  All the J16s, all the J19s, one/some of each of the other family groups, Onyx L-87, foraging, babysitting, some goofing around, breaches, tail slaps...and relaxed looking whales...J Pod being J Pod!
 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

3-12-17 Looking for Spring

Sunday, March 12th 

...a couple days ago, my attention was drawn to many gulls that were skimming the surface of the water...they were going after bait fish - that's a sign of Spring...
...so the next morning I thought I would go look for more signs of spring - like more birds skimming the surface or a bait ball or two...didn't find either of those but I did find 'someone' else who might have been looking for some signs too



...then the rain started and looking for signs of Spring could wait for another day...


...there were other ways to 'look for' signs of spring - the hydrophones!..and two of them occurred the next day (today)...
video
 ...so maybe Spring isn't too far away!

...and then the whales came back in this afternoon...right now it is 8:25 pm and there are/were very faint and intermittent echolocation clicks over the Orca Sound hydrophones...
...there were intermittent calls over Lime Kiln and some echolocation clicks about a half hour before but for now they have gone out of range over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...however the whales could show back up on them too...
...no telling where J Pod will be tomorrow morning...

...with all this going on...yeah, Spring isn't far away...

Friday, March 10, 2017

3-10-17 J Pod in the Night

Friday, March 10th
3:30 a.m. - yes the middle of the night...
J Pod came back in...

...they were vocalizing and echolocating for over 2 hours on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...I heard them a bit on Orca Sound as well, but they seemed to have gotten a lot quieter...that's sort of the opposite of the other day when they came down...
...it sounded like they were spread out...
...while I was listening to them I got creative...
for you...it should print on an 8 1/2 x 11...a calendar for the rest of March, starting with March 10th - today!
...and while you are printing out the calendar you can listen to a clip of the whales from today...
video
 
Enjoy!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

3-4-17 J Pod Adjusting After the Loss of Their Leader

Saturday, March 4th
(note: correction added 9:40 a.m. 3/5)
no rain, no wind, no snow...
and there was sunshine and word of whales!

...J Pod whales were heading in...
...they were going against an ebb so they weren't moving very quickly...
...it took them a very long time to cross Haro Strait, before they began moving north...but some stayed offshore a couple miles...
...from shore in different places throughout the day I saw foraging behavior...
...echolocating over the Lime Kiln hydrophones and later over the Orca Sound hydrophones...and vocals too...

No telling what we will see as the whales adjust...but there will be many eyes watching and wondering...

What ended up being most interesting to me was the 'line up'...
many people are wondering who will emerge as the leader...
...here's who I saw and the order they passed by:

-Shachi J-19 was in the lead as they came up island about 1/2 mile south of the lighthouse...I 'assume' she had already passed the light by the time I got there because I didn't see her again...(I just found her in a sun glare image, just ahead of J-16, off the lighthouse - so she was in fact the lead whale!)

...I was now at the lighthouse...
...here is who I saw passing the lighthouse...




...CORRECTION
...the dorsal fin looked too 'hookie' to be J-49 but also short to be Se-Yi-Chn J-45...it bothered me since last night "where was J-49"...going back through the images I was glad I had gone to County Park...looking more closely at those images... 

Notes:
Who I saw: at least one member of each J Pod family group except for the J17 family...that only means I didn't see them...other folks may have. Onyx L-87 was present.

Shachi, Slick, Oreo, Hy'Shqa, and Tsuchi are each the oldest female within their family group.  The only one who was not present with them was Princess Angeline J-17.

My previous post was about the potential for the herring run in the inland waters way to the north...maybe the whales are heading that way to check out the salmon that would be going after that herring...that is if the California sea lions don't eat it all first. (part of the herring story)


~~~
Added Tuesday, March 7th
Reported today that 2 1/2 million lbs of herring had been off loaded on Saturday, March 4th.
This was in the area of Comox, B.C.

 






Thursday, March 2, 2017

3-2-17 Herring Run in Canada - hopefully soon

Thursday, March 2nd

Finally tonight on the CTV, Victoria, Vancouver Island News was a piece about the herring run...or when might the herring run occur...

I've been looking for information because herring means salmon and salmon means orcas - Southern Residents...

In the last few years it seems that the herring run has been a bit earlier, but maybe not.

...listen to what the fisherman says about the number of sea lions...ugh...

Here's the link to the video clip on the news 
Title is 'B.C. Fishermen Eager for Herring Season'
posted March 2nd
you might have to look at the clips to locate that specific one.