Have You Seen Any of These?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Transient Orcas April 11 Grays Update

April 11 - After the report of 5 to 6 Orca coming in my direction yesterday around 12:30 pm, I quickly got a few things organized and headed out to find them with a neighbour. We spotted them rounding Grief Point and were surprised to see so many blows. There were around 16 of them spread out from Texada Island to the mainland.

With them being so spread out, it was quite difficult to figure out who they were other than Transient Orca. Dropped the hydrophone in and not a peep. At least at the start. Later on they became quite vocal - a typical Transient Orca trait. Paced one group, at a safe distance - all boats are required to keep their distance - close to Harwood Island in front of Powell River. The other group with one or two males continued up towards Atrevida Reef area.

The group we were with had two calves, one of which was having a great time porpoising clear out of the water. They continued to breach, roll around, tail lob and spy hop. Lots of missed photos - if only they'd be more co-operative. Having stopped the skiff and drifting, it was wonderful that they came over to investigate even surprising us by surfacing right beside the boat.

Although we didn't see them actually take any porpoises or sea lions, one photo looks like there is something in one whale's mouth.

These three photos are courtesy Steven Grover
who wrote:
"Lots of fun yesterday!  Most of my shots were near misses but I got a few."

After having such a dry spell with no whales or dolphins, this was a wonderful day! The wind and water picked up a bit and the sun went behind a large cloud, so left them around 4:45 pm.

For updates on the Gray Whales, which are working their way up the coast, check out the update reports that come through the US based Orca Network The Grays are along the West Coast of Vancouver Island as well, but I don't have information on those ones yet, other than they are around.