Tuesday, May 28, 2024

5-27-24 J and K pods and some Ls Today!

Here's just a few images of a very long day watching many of the Southern Residents as they spent a lot of time in view from the Lime Kiln shoreline.

 ...but first a few days ago there were several harbor porpoise not far from shore, traveling into an oncoming current which kept them in view for a while.

the next couple days were pretty quiet...and then today occurred...

...Notch J-47 was very close to shore when he surfaced in front off these two!
...below is Blackberry J-27 and ???
...they had gone north past the park and were just out of view to the north...but not for long when they grouped up and came back down.  It reminded me of the greeeting ceremony a few years ago. There was no obvious ceremony...Js and Ks had come into the inland waters together and it was stated that some Ls had come in too, though most of the L Pod whales hadn't made it up this far...except a while later there was an L Pod call mixed in with some J and K pod calls as the whales continued to go north...hmmm... they keep us interested in what they are doing...we need to make sure they have enough salmon to survive and thrive.

The whales may look like they were far away but they were much closer than the image shows. Also this image shows them coming down but they changed direction a short time later and went back to the north!

Thank you whales and thank you Sound Watch for keeping boats out the the path of the whales!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

5-17-24 J Pod Whales - Oh, My!

Early Friday morning, whales were heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...the calls made me think of L Pod - that up-tic call...but when they were seen it was J Pod!

The whales had passed the lighthouse very early and came back up island to the lighthouse, then some changed direction and came back down a bit...oops, no they changed their minds again...and again...All in all it was a great day to see J Pod and eventually they went north.

Here are a few images of the day...enjoy...

The day reminded many of us as to 'how it used to be'...hope the whales are/will be finding enough to eat this year.  

Sunday, April 28, 2024

4-26-2024 J Pod

The last sighting of J Pod along the west side of the island was April 19. On that day the whales were spread across Haro Strait and seemed to be aiming toward Discovery Island, B.C. and likely headed back out to sea.

They were not seen again until April 26th. And again they were spread across Haro Strait.  For quite a while they were spread in a few groups and not going anywhere.  Research boats were documenting who, health, etc. When the whales began coming north, there were a few breaches and a spyhop or two.  

Some of the whales moved north and closeer to shore as they came up the west side and Lime Kiln. They continued north and passed by Low Island, off County Park, a short while later.

Just a couple images as the passed Low Island heading north.

The land in the distance is Vancouver Island. Some of the whales had been so far away that it was a splash that would get one's attention.  

One group of 3 were Eclipse J-41, her youngest Crescent J-58, and Echo J-42. Most interesting is that Echo was with them....hmmm

This type of spread indicates that salmon were not abundent through Haro Strait on this day and also on the 19th when they had come south.

It will be interesting to see when/if K Pod arrives as they often come into these waters after J Pod. However, they might be finding plenty off food off the outer Washington coast. 

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!