Friday, April 12, 2024

4/11/2024 J Pod Spring Time Passby


What a wonderful surprise to first hear J Pod calls over the SMRU hydrophones located at Lime Kiln.  I wasn't there but since The Whale Museum has webcam and SMRU has the hydrophones...  Little did I know that J Pod was in two groups.  The first group had already passed County Park, going north and since I am a bit farther north of there I stepped out the door to listen for their blows.  Yes!  Awesome!  I could not see them and they were far offshore, so when their blows faded into the distance I went back inside and opened the web cam site:  TheWhaleMuseum - YouTube

Oh, my goodness! I just heard a very loud J Pod vocal! So I watched and waited and after a while some showed up going north.  

Ahhh - this was group 2.

It's been a long winter and not many sightings, this was very special, even if they were in the distance at Lime Kiln.  Their vocals were awesome too.

I watched and took pictures, though very distant.  This group spent a good bit of time offshore from the lighthouse...with many direction changes and their behaviors indicated they might have been chasing salmon This is often the time of year for the endangered SRKWs to begin coming in...likely following their food source.  Let's hope!

These are not good images but it gives you an idea...they are heavily cropped and taken from the video cam as the action was occuring...

...there were many direction changes and eventually upisland they went.

Thank you J Pod.

Friday, February 16, 2024

2-16-2024 Very Vocal J Pod Today

It started at about 4pm when faint calls were detected over the Lime Kiln Hydrophones. I went to the TWM web cam where I could hear and see at the same time. Right now it's 3 hours later and J Pod is still in the area.

They did not appear to be close to shore as they came down Haro Strait. The web cam scanning was going on in attempts to locate the whales and after a while it did. Difficult to tell how far offshore but they seemed to be a mile or more (just a guess). At one point there were very loud echolocation clicks making it seem that some were in close. Could be or not.  The seas were flat calm and no marine traffic/boats did I hear, until much later.

The whales didn't just pass through they stayed 'wherever they were' likely over near Discovery Island, where Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait merge.

It was a bit over 3 hours later they were last detected. Interesting that they would stay in that one area for multiple hours but their vocalizations indicated that they did.

3+ hours of hearing them makes me wonder if they had met up with some salmon coming in. That would certainly be good if they did. Were they chowing down on some food? Were they hearing others who were out of HP range and were waiting for them? Then there appeared to be a straggler. One call repeated over and over.  hmmm...

Maybe tomorrow will provide more information.                                They know what they are doing!                                                           

Saturday, November 18, 2023

SRKWs - Comparing 11/18/2021 to 11/18/2023

 TODAY - November 18, 2023

It's nice to be back on-line... have had to stay off since Sept 5th due to a concussion and a shattered left arm. Computer light and outdoor light too bright, and they still are. And confusion - yikes, that was awful. My arm will take the longest to heal. day at a time ..still a long way to go.

So I...

LOOKED BACK TO November 18, 2021, 2 years ago. It was interesting to see that J, K, & L Pods came into the inland waters on that day and went north, which is what they did today.

2021 post: right hand column, year -2021, month November, 11/18 SRKWs returned again. click on that & it will take you to that post.

FAST FORWARD to - November 18, 2023 - I did not see or hear them and I'd like to thank others for the visual and audio they posted today. - though I cannot confirm exactly who, there were calls from each pod. Whether the 3 different groups of L were present I don't know.

importance / circumstance / just plain interesting ?!

Thanks to the SRKWs I had something interesting to post today!!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

One Day Joy the Next Day Shock & Sadness

August - one day joy and the next shock & sadness.

J Pod & the L12s were last seen in the inland waters on July 4th and last seen heading west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on July 5th. K Pod & the rest of L Pod had not come all the way in to Haro Strait yet this season. Now, 8/17, members of J, K & L pods were incoming!

It was mid-afternoon when they were seen coming up island toward Lime Kiln lighthouse. They didn't just pass by.  Instead for the next few hours there were very many energetic whales. It had been a long time since seeing such a large grouping with lots of behaviors during an extened time, going up-island & a few minutes later the same group going back, wait!...they changed direction again...and again.  At times it was challenging to keep up with all the social and energetic SRKWs. They seemed to be celebrating their return.  They know the Lime Kiln lighthouse area and often come in close to shore, passing through kelp, where salmon will often be. It appeared that a large amount of salmon had come in and most of them eventually followed the salmon north. A few images to show some of what occurred:

While so many people were glad to see the SRKWs back in the inland waters, it wasn't known that Lolita, aka Tokitae, was dying. There was great anticipation that she was coming 'home' to the Pacific Northwest after 53 years in captivity, but for some reason it wasn't to be. It came as a shock to all. There has been anger, sadness, shock, lots of questions as to why? - Why was she doing so well and all of a sudden gone? So many have written many wonderful words honoring Tokitae. 

If each of us are willing to look back... look at what she taught you over many years. There's a saying 'each one teach one'.  Yep, that's what she had done all these years but did we notice?  She is free now and her spirit will carry on and perhaps cause positive changes for those who care to think deeply about what she 'gave each of us' even if you have never been to see her. She will live on in our hearts and perhaps 'ah-ha' moments will cause you to smile because you just realized what she was teaching you. 

Sunday, August 6, 2023

J Pod & L12s and Whale Comics

 August 6, 2023

J Pod and the L12s came inland to Haro Strait at the end of June, as most are already aware.  The L12s have two calves, estimated to be a two to three months old. It was great to see all of J Pod too!  The L12s, as they have historically done, spent their time along the west side of the island and most often off the lower section of it, making it not easy to see them.  But they did come up to Lime Kiln lighthouse a time or two.  When they came in, J Pod continued north and spent time in the Strait of Georgia, as they usually do. On July 4th J Pod came back down, and the L12s were still doing their version of the 'westside shuffle'.  That evening, after dark, calls were heard on the Lime Kiln hydrophones. The next day J Pod and the L12s were seen in the Strait of Juan de Fuca heading west.

From July 5th through July 31st and continuing to August 6th, 6:55pm, (as of this writing) NO Southern Resident Endangered Kille Whales have been seen in these waters.   That is NOT GOOD.

They come here for the salmon and what the whales are telling us is that there are little to no salmon coming in, i.e. enough for them to follow them in. BUT that is only the tip of the iceberg...if you aren't aware of the importance of salmon to this ecosystem - yes, all of it...then you might want to look up -  137 Species Rely On Salmon - you might begin to think a bit differently.

Okay, enough of my rant.

Looking back through some old posts to my blog I realized I had forgotten about the 'Whale Comics' I had created, for a while, of course when all was abundant and appeared to be thriving.  So here are some of the silly text on images from years gone by. They made me smile if only for a short while. Hope they bring a smile to you.  Of course the first of these images is from years ago, but who knows maybe they will surprise us on August 7th - ha-ha!