Have You Seen Any of These?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Day of Transient Orca - Lots of Them

htWow! The Transient (meat eating) Killer Whales are everywhere - and in large numbers. From the large group cruising the outskirts of Desolation Sound to the one that were in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet the other day making an appearance in the Washington State San Juan Islands. Not many reports of anything else though.
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

May 14:
11 am a tug boat Captain spotted some Orca off in the distance when one breached and made a large splash. By 11:15 am the call was out one the radio that there were around 20 Whales by Marina Island, just off Cortez Island. The reports from various Whale Watching groups out on the water today were constant. It didn't take too long and then, by 2pm the reports were that the Orca, including T10 T10B and T20 (based on reports from farther South it's doubtful that T20 is in two places at once - wonder who's right or did they move that far so quickly?) were zig zagging in three to four distinct groups within a triangle from Marina, Quadra and Read Islands. There were some on a kill by Viner oint at the tip of Read Island. They stayed, spread out in that area until around 4 pm when they headed towards Whale Channel. At this point there was a count of around 25 Orca! By the end of the day, the Campbell River Whale Watching crew left them at 5 pm entering Calm Channel by Rendezvous Islands. What a day - breaching, tail slapping and just lots of whale activity!.

To add to this great day, the seas settled and gave everyone a great whale encounter. I do suspect that these whales are flitting about the inside waters - so keep your eyes open....I've mad it easier on the Sightings Blog to submit a sighting report by email for you.

News from Farther South:
J pod was still in Puget Sound today but rather elusive, and heard and seen heading out of Admiralty tonight.
Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network
May 13 
The Ocean Magic vessel out of Victoria met up with a number of Transients (looked like 7-8)  who appeared to be in a traveling group much of the time, Friday afternoon, May 13th (see photo below). We located them south west of Hein Bank close to 1:15pm. They did zigzag in different directions at times but didn't appear to be hunting. The research vessel out of the Centre for Whale Research kept company with these magnificent Orca. A pair of Tufted Puffins floating on the calm water helped make this a very special day.
Marie, 'Orca-Magic ', Prince of Whales, Victoria BC. Submitted by Orca Network
May 12
5-12-2011 on Maya's Westside Charters in the afternoon, after receiving a call, we headed north and west to the north side of Galiano Island, B.C. where we encountered T20 and T21 heading east at 3:00.  Farther east another boat came across T137, T137A and T137B.  T137C was not present.  Another boat was about 3 miles northwest of our location, returning to Vancouver, and came across several other whales.  We did not see those whales and left the scene at 3:40.  We made a return trip and at 5:35 encountered the same whales.  However, this time many more whales approached from the west and joined the others.  There was quite a lot of above water vocalizing and extraordinary surface action.  The whales present included some of the same whales that were photographed at Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday.  The whales ID'd  on the late encounter were:  T20, T21, T137, T137A, T137B, T100, T100B, T100B1, T100C, T100E, T101, T101A, T101B, T102, T18, T19, T19B, T19C, T23, T23D, T26 and T26A. There was a total of 22 whales identified and possibly one or two more.
Jeanne Hyde , San Juan Island - Submitted by Orca Network
May 12
Today was one of those whales everywhere days. We left dock with no rumours, or even hints as to where to start. We soon got word of a humpback near Porlier Pass, and located it in Trincomali Channel, just south of the pass. This humpback was not exhibiting usual behaviour though. It was surfacing fast, and milling erratically, with just 1 breath per surface sequence and no long, lazy blow. Perhaps it knew what we were about to find out - transient orcas were in the Georgia Strait, and some were near. We headed out of the pass, and slightly south in Georgia Strait for an encounter with T20 and T21. These two individuals are sighted frequently in the area, and just continued on their way south, in typical transient fashion, during our encounter with them. Heading home across the strait, we encountered another 4 individuals - the T101's and T102. This group was also headed south in Georgia Strait. Watching them, we noted how tall T101A's fin is becoming, although still juvenile compared to T102  (see photo below).  As we left them to head for dock at approximately 15:20, we heard that there were yet more transients in Active Pass. Seals,  watch out!   
Joan Lopez, Naturalist, Vancouver Whale Watch - Submitted by Orca Network