Saturday, March 28, 2020

3-28-2020 A Southern Resident Oca Hug

...current times... 
...looking back several years... 






Sunday, March 22, 2020

3-22-2020 How Many Critters...

Today, while keeping myself away from others and doing my part to stay put...
I had a bit of a creativity distraction...
Nothing fancy but gave me a brain-break from all the concerns...




I hope that each of you are doing okay, that you are staying home, keeping away from others, etc.

Be well and stay safe.


Monday, March 9, 2020

3-9-2020 J Pod Had Their Own Fishing Derby Today

Monday, March 9th

...when J Pod went north on Feb 29...I had written this about them...
...it seemed fitting, as this is the time of year they go to where the salmon up in Canada are going after the herring run...(the whales are after the salmon and the salmon are after the herring)...
...they were seen way up that way and a couple days ago were seen coming back this way...
...so today when they were seen coming down it wasn't surprising...
...but then they did what they have done many times in past years - at this time of year - and that is go over to the east side of San Juan Island where every year there is a salmon derby...well, the whales have their own salmon derby which it appears they made have had today...
...who knows maybe it will continue tomorrow too or back up north...

...I saw the whales from a great distance but glad to, so as to not interfere with 'their derby'...and with a couple friends we had a great time watching what was going on and were surprised when the whales did what they did...







...not sure who 'won' their derby, but we hope each one did with plenty of salmon for each and everyone one of them!


Saturday, February 29, 2020

2-29-2020 J Pod Can Only Do This Once Every 4 Years

Saturday, February 29

...it was about 8a.m. when I decided to take a walk...luckily it was along the road on the westside of the island...
...and luckily I didn't get very far when I happened to see a blow in the distance - just one blow...hmmm...trees and the angle of the shoreline didn't give me much opportunity to see another, to figure out direction of travel...
...so at a 'quick-step' (ha-ha) I made it back to the lighthouse and Oh, My...here came a whale!
...once again just one whale...oh, but that one whale was important to me - It was Shachi J-19... 
...in the lead...why important?...because she became the replacement for Granny J-2 when Granny died in late 2016.  It still is not known if her leadership role is temporary or permanent and what if any changes may occur because of this...and what does temporary mean to the whales, anyway?

...I soon saw another and another coming up about 1/4 mile behind her and a bit more offshore...Eclipse J-41 and Nova J-51...
...then a few others...the whales were spread out...it was J Pod, of course...
...here came two males...Blackberry J-27 and who?
...it's Cookie J-38!
Behind them was Se-Yi-chn J-45...I remember when I first saw him - he was a brand new baby - the first newborn I had ever seen and that was back in 2009 and it was from shore at the park...

It took a while to locate others...there was a group offshore by more than a mile...
...the whales were moving at a steady pace, going up island...and then Blackberry and Cookie stopped and were actively foraging...

...they were farther to the north when the following echolocation clicks began...very loud...and then Alki J-36 surfaced...!
...can't be sure but it might have been her...



...the seas were choppy at first and eventually settled...the whales continued north...
So what is it they can only do once every four years?
The answer is:  travel in the Salish Sea on February 29.






Wednesday, February 26, 2020

2-26-2020 J Pod and a Harbor Porpoise Encounter

Wednesday, 2-26-2020

J Pod came back in this morning...that wasn't expected...and what my pictures showed that I took from really far away wasn't what I had expected either!

J Pod calls began over the hydrophones.
As soon as I got to the shoreline I saw three harbor porpoise moving north past the lighthouse.  Moments later another group.
Not long after a couple sea lions appeared traveling the same path as the harbor porpoise - in close to shore, moving north.

That reminded me of 2005, April, before hydrophones were on-line.
It was late in the day and I was sitting on the rocks just enjoying the late afternoon, when along came a group of porpoise and soon behind them a few sea lions...and little did I know behind them was J Pod!

It didn't happen quite that way today, but there may have been a reason the harbor porpoise and the sea lions were moving away from the orcas.  It wasn't until later when I was looking at the few images I took today of the whales, when I noticed something was different about that group I was watching.  I was down island a mile or so, and this one group appeared to be resting, no maybe foraging, or just goofing around.

I had no idea until I looked at my images several hours later.  So here they are. I was really far away from the whales but you can clearly seen a harbor porpoise.  Looks like Tofi J-56 was in the mix too...maybe getting an education about harbor porpoise!  ha!




...the whales have a history of interactions with harbor porpoise...maybe the researchers, who soon arrived, got to see more than I did...