Wednesday, May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023

Since my last posting there was a long stretch of quiet for seeing the Southern Residents.  That all changed when they returned on May 30, in the dark of night and lucky for us, with lots of chatter in range of the Lime Kiln hydrophones.

That changed quickly, when the next day after they had gone north the prior night, were already coming back down toward Haro Strait and hopefully they would come through Haro Strait and WOW!...they did! All afternoon on May 31, the whales did what is called 'the westside shuffle' spending the day going down island, up island, down island again and then late in the day up island.  Had you been listening to the Lime Kiln hydrophones you would not have heard them at all and might have thought they stayed off the lower end of the island. Oh, but they didn't! 

Glad for the web cam The Whale Museum Live Stream that streams constantly.  At about 8pm J Pod came up island clearly seen via the cam. It was around 8pm. Not a peep of a sound from them - they were going north and they were resting - their form of sleep.

That's just the beginning of the next few days, which I will post later.

Here are a few images of that first day...

sometimes going up-island...

sometimes going down...

some were having some fun...

some were going after salmon...

and we have to check on the moms and the youngest...

...and Crescent J-58 gets a close-up. Just look at her dorsal fin and how it's just like her granmother's, Shachi J-19.

...that was just the beginning of seeing J Pod multiple times over the next several days.
Thanks for reading about part of this day.  more to follow...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

5-10-23 Humpback-Transients-Eagle

Thanks to the 'heads-up' of others, it was quite a day!

Transient orcas were coming south in San Juan Channel. There are many places they can change their direction of travel. Luckily they continued down the Channel. A few images from the 900 I took. There were 19 Transient orcas, from very young to seniors. Here are a couple highlights from the passby.

below - that white is the underside of someone's right tail fluke.

As fun a day as it was...something was missing.

Though it's interesting to see so many Transients this spring, it is concerning to me that the Southern Resident orcas are not seen much.  The SRKWs should be here at this time of year, feasting on salmon that are (sould be) returning to the Fraser River, Canada. But the absence of J,K and L pods tells us a lot.

I'd rather they go where they can find enough salmon. We've seen in years past how they have come into these waters and travel, travel, travel without spending much time in any one place and then go back out to sea - an indicator of where the salmon are or are not.

So just maybe the Transients will help reduce the seal and sea lion population and they might be doing 'their part' to help restore salmon. Round about way, but every living salmon that survives is of upmost importance not only for the SRKWs, but for the other 136 species that rely on salmon.  Look it up 137 Species that Rely on Salmon.


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Early May 2023-Transient orcas

All the way through May 8, Transient orcas have been in many places among the San Juan Islands, in Puget Sound, and north in Canadian waters. I saw them a couple times, missed them a couple times too.

Here are images of two groups...actually one group was by themselves one day and then they were with the rest of their family the other day.

This family hasn't been seen traveling together, at least when seen in the U.S. waters in many years. So the second day was pretty special, seeing them all together.

While waiting, a vulture did a fly-over. 

First day of the T65As. Some had grown alot since the last time I saw them and little did I know it would come in handy the following day. Not only had T65A-3 grown alot, so had T65B-1, and they looked very similar. T65A2, adult male, has a notch near the top of his dorsal fin, which sets him apart from the other males in this family, at least for now.

A couple days later T63, T65, T65Bs and the T65As were all together. of those days a fox showed up at Cattle Pass!

He too scanned but his scanning was looking for a meal in the grass. Not sure how many people were looking, if any, at the fox because most were looking at the water...most of the time!