Sunday, December 29, 2019

12-29-19 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Sunday Dec 29th
...well the day began at about 5:15 a.m. when a very loud humpback whale was practicing his song...that makes it about the 10th time since late October that I have recorded one...every time it's been IN THE DARK!...

...the day continued on, when at about 11:00 a.m. IN THE DAYLIGHT! - a male singing humpback...that's the first time I have recorded one during daylight!!
...scanned and scanned but could not locate...he was distant but I was hoping I could catch a glimpse of his exhale...
...then a bit later I learned there were some humpbacks off Trial Island, and I wondered if maybe that humpback had been in Baynes Channel. (If it had been in Baynes Channel and had come far enough east it is a straight shot to the Lime Kiln hydrophones.)...but I'll not likely never know.

...okay, on about the day...lots of people at Lime Kiln today...brighter than yesterday, flat calm water...someone noticed something, close to shore, coming up island toward the lighthouse...
...at first...hmmmm...
...and then...and then...very short clip and not very clear but...
...here's a bit closer look...the image is actually quite large (click on image to enlarge)...
...see if you can figure out how many were there...
...a couple clues:
  -at least one has an indentation or two along its back, behind the dorsal fin.
  -all those notches, of course.
 
...not common to see LAGS (their nick name - which is the first 4 letters of their long scientific name)...so close to shore, just passing by quietly...

...and now since that singing humpback was out there making some very high pitched sounds in the late morning...I'm now wondering if maybe it was the lags!

...lots of fun and most people there today hadn't ever seen any Pacific White-sided Dolphins before...

...I decided they were a 'good omen' for 2020!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Thursday, November 28, 2019

11-28-19 J Pod Faint Calls

November 28 - what a fun Thanksgiving Day treat!

J Pod had exited Puget Sound in the morning and there was a slight chance they would come into hydrophone range...
...it was at about 2:40 in the afternoon when I heard a very faint call...yay!...the calls were not easily detected but I was listening and watching...
...I figured they could not be seen because the seas were rough and the whales were a great distance away...
...so here's a short clip of some of their calls...
...yes, they are quite distant...but they were there...
...always special to hear them...
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

11-26-19 An Unusual Encounter This Morning

11-26-19

It was quite a treat to see this, this morning...


Monday, November 25, 2019

11-24-19 What are Those Scratches on the Humpback

Catching up over the last several days...

J Pod had been north of the Fraser for a few days...
then they came south and were first spotted off Victoria heading west...
and then...and then...
the next day they were in Puget Sound!
...hmmm...were more salmon heading in?...
..and now today (11-24) they are still in Puget Sound...

...sure do wish the water was cleaner down there...

...in the meantime whether from shore on out on the Western Prince, here are a few images...
Those Scratches on the Humpback
...this is BCZ0298 with some unusual 'scratches' 
I wonder what it is from?
...fishing gear?
...transient orcas?
...sea lion harassment? (I heard that was going on out in Juan de Fuca)...
...something else?  
(note: known as 'Split Fin, BCZ0298 has has had that split dorsal fin for many years.)

...there is a bloody spot in front of the dorsal fin...and there appears to be some kind of 'holes' or something that had...
...no alarm here, just curiosity...
 
...on another day, and just about everyday for the last several weeks, California sea lions, sometimes one and sometimes three have come by the park...
...one morning I was photographing some Buffleheads, a winter bird, when something caught my eye!

...another day...the blow of a humpback caught my eye, in the early morning...eight minute dives and a challenge to track...that is until it came past the lighthouse :)
 I sent this image to researchers, as I hadn't seen this humpback before...MMY0080, which is a temporary ID assignment...
...and then there is the 'daily dependable' -great-blue-heron...



...no Southern Residents...but out on the Western Prince the T18s were spotted in San Juan Channel...we were still at the dock when we saw them passing by the entrance to Friday Harbor!...that was amazing!
...then out on the water we watched them for a while...
...this is my most fun picture of them...silly, but fun...
...the T18s are seen often throughout the year...but of course one never knows when they will appear...or where they will be on any given day...
So, what is unusual looking about this image?
Who is going which direction?

November is not a time for seeing J, K or L Pods...but you just never know...

...always on the lookout...
 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

11-21-19 Humpback Sounds - Lime Kiln Hydrophones

Interesting and unusual sounds.
 The sounds from humpbacks are usually more obvious.
On this evening, there were some sounds that were made either by not HBs or maybe this HB(s) was copying some others!

This is the fourth time I have heard HBs over the Lime Kiln hydrophones this year, and each time it occurs after dark.  On this evening it was just after 6pm.

Fun stuff!  Enjoy...
 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

11-16-19 In the Wee Hours of This Day

...let's first backup a few days...


November 13 - Late afternoon. They are out there. They, who? The J16s. Thank you, Rod, Eagle Wing WW out of Victoria, for the “coming your way”. Though you can’t see them in this image, that was their backdrop. At first I heard a few faint calls. A couple was sitting nearby and heard their calls, which brought 😊 to the people’s faces. It took a good while to locate the whales... offshore a good ways and far south of the park. Saw a splash-and another...then twice seeing that tall dorsal fin of Mike J-26. They are an independent family unit (four in this family) and have been for many years. No telling where they will be tomorrow, but we know now that at least for a couple days this group was likely not in Puget Sound with the other J Pod whales. Now I wonder if there are others from K and/or L with Js in PS.


...it may be a pretty picture...but knowing that some of the SRKWs are down there makes it even prettier...

...I kept scanning.
...the seas were not completely flat but there were NO white caps occurring, so when I saw a splash - oh, about 3 miles distant - I at least knew where to look...bingo!  
There was Mike's J-26 dorsal fin...

...the rest of J Pod and Onyx L-87 had been in Puget Sound for several days...
..they were leaving Puget Sound in the late afternoon on the 14th...
...J16s were not seen on the 14th (as far as I know)...
...but who knows maybe they all met up...

...on November 15th J Pod whales were seen heading west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but where exactly...hmmm...

...in the wee hours of November 16...faint calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...
...yesterday there had been a good rain...more salmon moving in????

...this is beginning to shape up like back in 2013 when the whales were here for Thanksgiving!
...I wish ALL could have a good Thanksgiving.
...keeping in mind all the things we each can do to help this ecosystem recover...which will help the salmon recover and the Southern Residents to recover...
After all IT IS THEIR HOME not ours...

 

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

11-5-2019 SRKWs Here Today

Tuesday, November 5th
...yesterday on the 4th there were members of J, K, and L pods present in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...not all, but evidently many of them...

...so why was I surprised when I heard a call at 07:40 this morning...
...they were coming in from Discovery Island, I thought...
...during that first hour I heard, a few J Pod calls and a few K Pod calls...but later when I learned who was present...well, that changed who might have been 'saying' what...the L54s were here today and they 'speak' K Pod (kitten sounding call)...I've documented that many times in past years...not sure about J Pod though...maybe they were there or maybe just a family group - like the J16s will often split off from the rest of J Pod...or someone from K or L could have been calling out to J Pod...don't know...

...the whales were quite vocal for several hours...'til about about noon or a bit after...
...there was foraging going on, echolocation clicks were heard...
...it is always special to see them...and to see what will present itself as distractions while watching the whales!




 ...when they were going up island, fewer images because of their distance...when they came down they were still a good ways off...except for a couple of them...



...I wonder if that is a new 'dog' on the bow - ha-ha...I don't see little Eba
...so I had to include this...my favorite pic of the day !
...when will the whales be here?...people ask all the time...well, I certainly would not have thought on November 5th!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

10-29-19 Humpback On the Hydrophones Again!

Tuesday, October 29th
...Monday ended with plans to get certain things done on Tuesday...
...oh, well...
...interrupted by some whales !!

 ...it was only 24 minutes into the day...you know, like in the middle of the night, when something woke me up!
...below are some of the vocals as shown on a spectrogram, which shows the structure of the vocalization...
...I haven't heard that many humpbacks but I more look for the vocal to be on the low section on the sprectrogram (lower tone), 
 ...so when I saw some that were quite high and looking somewhat similar to Southern Residents...hmmm


...well, I began to wonder...where there two species of whales I was hearing?
...after listening and re-listening to the recording, etc. I decided on humpbacks...

~~~
...little did I know I'd be listening to some more unusual sounds, midway through the day...from other whales - the Southern Residents !!  - Yes !! ...they came back down from the north today and came past the park and down Haro Strait...
...I imagine they'll be in Puget Sound or headed west in the morning...
...but since they like to 'make a liar' out of me...just maybe they'll be on the west side - ha!  ha!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

10-27-19 A Bald Eagle Adventure Today

Sunday, October 27
...at this time of year it is not common to see the Southern Residents, but that doesn't mean one doesn't continue to listen and watch...cause you just never know...
...it was early this morning when I heard some unusual sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...sounded like a humpback!   That would be the first one heard, this fall.  
...since hearing the first one in October of 2013, my ears get keen to hear when the first one will show up on the hydrophones each fall...it's proved to be either late October or sometime in November.  It wasn't much and the few sounds were spread out over about an hour, so I clipped them together for a 22 second listen (cause that's all there was in total)...the humpback was somewhere in Haro Strait, but I wasn't ever able to visually locate it...


...while looking for the HB, a friend commented on the squawking gulls...and so here's how that went...pretty amazing by the end of that!


             (note: whether male or female I don't know)

...bit the fish in half!!







Monday, October 21, 2019

10-21-19 If Whales Had been Here We Might Have Missed...

Lots to see...that is except for whales on the west side...









...J Pod was in the Strait of Juan de Fuca a few times and then came all the way into Puget Sound where they stayed for several days...
...I heard L Pod calls, though brief and distant one evening...
...not sure where they went, but possibly up toward the Fraser River area...
...if so, then maybe they'll come back this way...
...would like there to be plenty of salmon for them, no matter where they go...