Have You Seen Any of These?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dolphins - Sightings to Mar 25

I can finally say we have some Pacific White Sided Dolphins returning to the area! Although it was a second hand report and received only last evening, Some ( I didn't get any numbers) Pacific White Sided Dolphins joined up with the Comox ferry on one of it's afternoon runs to Powell River to wake ride for a short time on either Monday the 21st or Tuesday the 22nd of March. They never made it as far as Powell River and there was no direction passed on to me.

With sightings of the dolphins in the Howe Sound area around Vancouver, I can assume that these ones were headed towards one of their favorite spots around Cortez and Marina Islands below Campbell River.

Unfortunately, in this area, there have been no other sightings, but this is a promising sign that these cetaceans are making their way back into our waters.

Update on other sightings from "down south": Reports of a couple of Humpback Whales showing up around Victoria, Southern Resident (fish eating) and Transient (meat eating) Orca in the San Juans, and Gray Whales in the Port Townsend area of Washington State. There are also reports of Dolphins continuing to appear on and off in the Howe Sound area of Vancouver and Gibsons.

Questions on identification of what is seen pop up regularly. The main Whales and Dolphins BC site has information on how to identify the species most often seen in our area. Click on the Species Page and follow the highlighted links to check on the individual species or use the links on the side of the landing page. To help understand the language frequently used when talking about whales and dolphins, there is a Glossary of Whale terminology in plain English on the site.

Identification is sometimes tricky. One of the most commonly mistaken for Orca - Killer Whales, are Sealions. They frequently lie on their side with a flipper up which can look very much like a Killer Whale dorsal fin. Sea lions also tend to snort out excess build up of salts and water in their nostrils when they surface for air, which can sometimes look like a blow from a whale or dolphin. It requires a bit of watching sometimes to be sure of what it is. Happy Watching!