Whale, Dolphin or Porpoise Sightings from our Coastal waterways in British Columbia. We monitor and publish numbers, species, sightings and behaviour of Cetaceans to raise public awareness, respect and enthusiasm for the protection of our coastal wildlife and marine ecosystems.
From so much activity to so few sightings. Although I skipped yesterdays few reports which are included below, today's are just as few. I've had a few comments and discussions regarding the Pacific White Sided Dolphin strandings, and DFO's Marine Mammal Response Network is asking for any photos to ascertain if the scratches that were seen on the Dolphins were from Transient Orca. They can either be contacted directly, or I will forward any information you might have. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Pacific White Sided Dolphins Stranding Update:
I copied your list of sightings to add to my report of the dolphins.No word of any re-strandings so looks like a success.
I'm still looking for more pics and video from rescuers to look for evidence of killer whale tooth rake marks or other injuries. Dolphin researchers also want ID photos of dosal fins for their catalogue. See CHEK News story from yesterday for more on that and where to send pics. http://ow.ly/5u5Nn
As for other sightings of transient scraps, I do want to know about any dead marine mammal parts washed ashore (no matter the cause of death) because if I get other reports, I will not know the background information and therefore cannot attribute a cause of death.
Thanks, Lisa Spaven, DFO Marine Mammal Response Network (Hotline: 1800-465-4336)
We had a report from a fisherman at 9am– whales at St. Vincents Bight – eastbound. I spoke with a fishing vessel at 1130am when I got to Kelsey bay and he said they were at St. Vincent’s playing around no direction at about 10am.
I then came across a group of about 50 white sides(Dolphins - SM)– very spread out foraging in JohnstoneStrait mid passage across from YorkeIsland– by the time I left they were turned to the west following a sailboat. After watching the dolphins, I continued West stopped many times to scan the area - there was no wind and GREAT visibility. I drove up to EveRiver, then across to BrokenIslands then back to Port Neville for a break. It was a strong flood tide, so I would be surprised if the orca (if that is what they were) turned back to the west. I then drove back down JohnstoneStrait – and nothing…my eyes are so tired, I was sure I would find them. But alas I did not!
So that is the update Nice to be up that way though, we managed to avoid most of the rain.
Top NEWS story today was the stranding of 4 Pacific White Sided Dolphins in Oyster Bay just South of Campbell River. Was it the two groups of Transient (meat eating) Killer Whales that were in the area that chased them ashore? Short discussion follows the end of the usual sightings reports. Timely reminder that if you see an injured, distressed or dead marine mammal, please call the Marine Mammal Response Network Hotline at 1-800-465-4336. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Pacific White Sided Dolphin Reports:
June 28: 3:15 pm 6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins by Willow Point close to Campbell River. report overheard on radio from Eagle 30
June 28: 10:30 am 2 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were Southbound by Brown's Bay, Discovery Passage. Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 28: 8 am report of 4 Pacific White Sided Dolphins stranded on the muddy shores of Oyster Bay, South of Campbell River. See below for bit more information. Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 28: 7:15 am Approximately 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were Northbound by How Island, Sutil Channel.
Also while on his run, at around 8:15 am Jack saw a large, light coloured Wolf on the shore of Sonora Island, just behind Cinque Islands, Discovery Passage. Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching
Transient Orca Sightings Today:
June 28: 3 pm It took the whale watching tours quite a while to find them, but they did. Around 15 Transient Orca that looked like they were in two distinct groups, one group of around 7 whales joined together by Sentry Shoal, mid Georgia Strait below Savary Island. They were on a kill when spotted. There were at least a couple of calves in the mix. Captian Kurt
Kurt is our back up driver. The orca apparently didn’t move much and were milling about with no direction – he left them in between S. End of Hernando and Mitlenatch.
Also, did you hear about the dolphins that were found stranded on the mud flats in Oyster Bay – also rumour has it that there were Orca South Bound in front of CR at about 6am?? Interesting.
No report of time or photos for IDs. Direction from Jen's report appears to be Northward - SM
Stranded Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Oyster Bay, BC
Early this morning four Pacific White Sided Dolphins were very close in to shore by Oyster Bay, South of Campbell River, feeding on some small fish. When the tide went out, they became stranded on the muddy beaches. This is very unusual for these highly intelligent mammals to find themselves in this sort of predicament without good reason. Once the call went out, there were around 50 people that responded to help get these Dolphins back to deeper water. Putting them on tarps, one by one, they were carried across the mud flats and released into deeper water. They swam away apparently OK.
There is talk that the possible reason for this Dolphin stranding is due to their being chased by Transient Orca. Over the past number of weeks, there have been marauding groups of Transient Orca in this area. These Killer Whales eat meat. Their preference is usually the easier meal of Harbour Seals or Sea Lions, but they do take Porpoises and Dolphins as well as larger Whales such as Grays or Humpbacks. I do not know for certain if they have managed to take any Resident (fish eating) Orca, but they are certainly capable of doing so. The last report of them taking a porpoise was just the other day. I did not post the photo I received from on of the guests of Garry, Aboriginal Journeys in the blog due to it being quite graphic and I did not want to upset anyone.
The other day, there was a small group of 4 to 6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins that seemed to stay apart from the rest of the actively foraging 60 or so of them in front of Powell River. There is also a possibility that one of them is sick or injured and with the Transients this morning right in the area, they may have tried to hide out in the shallows. These highly intelligent animals do not misjudge the shore on purpose, so there are quite a number of unanswered questions regarding this unique stranding. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Drop me an email: email@example.com
Please keep your eyes open for any injured, distressed or dead marine mammal and call it in right away to the Marine Mammal Response Network Hotline at 1-800-465-4336. I would also appreciate knowing about it, even if it's not in my immediate response area.
J and K Pod Southern Resident Orca Report: submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
In search of orcas rumored to be nearly out of reach, we headed north out of the harbor, eventually crossing the border into Canada at Boundary Pass. Up around Saturna Island, we went into the Strait of Georgia where we finally found whales. We spent much of our time going back and forth across the border as we observed J-pod and L87, a large male named "Onyx" with a solid white saddle patch on his right side and a black-indented saddle patch on his left side. The pod was fairly spread out, with a pair (female and calf?) towards the north and another pair southwest of us. At one point, we shut the Kittiwake down just to listen and enjoy the quiet of the water and the sounds of the whales breathing before we had to make the long journey back. While we were powered down, a pair of females/juveniles/both came by our stern within one hundred and fifty yards and passed under us, popping back up off our port bow! We only knew they had surfaced by the sound of their blows.With that awesome finale, we powered up and returned to the harbor, but not until we had seen two Bald Eagles fish-seeking from pines on San Juan Island.
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris, San Juan Island, WA
Today's sightings reports are all about Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Transient Orca. It is quite difficult to go back to work when Orca are breaching, spy hopping and tail slapping right in front of me!
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Transient Orca Reports:
Around 3 pm the winds had suddenly picked up and a chop formed on the water, but scanning the water still provided a glimpse of Transient Orca blows mid-strait still very slowly headed towards Atrevida Reef, North of Powell River.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
I watched them till about 1:15 and they seemed to be headed north towards Atrevida Reef about mid channel. They continued to play every so often with 3 more breaches, lots of tail lobbing and a couple of nice spy hops. They certainly didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave Westview. I got some nice looks through the telescope at 40X.
12 pm The Transient Orca arrived as expected - they usually take around 45 minutes to an hour to get from around Myrtle Rocks to Westview. There were at least 6 Orca and possibly up to 8 of them with two males and at least one calf. Certainly there was one extremely large male whose tail, when he tail slapped, looked almost as large as a small Humpback's tail. There were breaches, head stands waving tails in the air, tail slaps, spy hops, etc. etc. It was wonderful to watch for as long as I could. At first they looked as if they would just cruise by Powell River as they headed towards Vivian Island, on the West side of Harwood. Then they suddenly decided to give the ferry and boat traffic a great show. They stayed out in front of Powell River slowly working their way towards Harwood Island for a good couple to three hours while they socialized.
9 am Broken radio transmission by Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watchingof a pod of Pacific White Sided Dolphins close to Separation Head, by Seymour Narrows.
The dolphins have been hanging around at Grief Point since just before 9 o’clock. Apparently feeding but not moving anywhere.
I spoke with Heather wondering if the Dolphins were still there after getting the 10:50 am call regarding the Transient Orca heading in their direction. Heather said the 20 + Dolphins were being very casual, then suddenly they disappeared. - SM
June 26: Late Report about yesterday's Pacific White Sided Dolphins:
They did head back up. They reappeared here just after 4 but a much smaller group. They gamboled around out front here until around 4:30. Then they appeared to split and some headed south east towards Vananda and the others north towards the mill. (Powell River)
Lots of Transient Orca are in the neighbourhood - interspersed with Pacific White Sided Dolphins today. J and K Pod of Southern Resident Orca are still in Puget Sound and the Humpbacks seem to have gone North West.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June26: Transient Orca Reports throughout the day:
4:30 pm 8 of the two groups of Transient Orca including T137 were still headed North West tight along the Vancouver Island Shoreline by Elk Bay, just above Campbell River. (Garry was out with the two groups of whales from around 1 pm - SM) Also, at 9:30 am a group of 6 Orca by Cape Mudge including one large male. IDs included T137 and T137A
9 am Broken radio transmission of Orca spotted by the Light - Campbell River direction.
8:45 am Around 6 Orca were passing Pebble Beach, south of Powell River with lots of breaching, splashing, lying on their backs doing inverted tail slaps and generally socializing. Two large males and a couple of calves.
A pod of Orca was seen at Myrtle rocks a 8:30 am Sunday heading south. There was a mother and a baby and about three others. They gave a beautiful display of tail slapping and flipper flapping.
Hi Susan, 5 to 6 whales went by Grief Point around 7:30 this morning heading south at a leisurely pace. Lots of breaching and tail slapping by one larger individual.
Heather Dickson, Grief Point
sighting at 730 at grief point- 5 orcas,
Orca Network received a call from Tony McGinnis, reporting ~6 orcas in Malaspina Strait, BC, near Myrtle Pt. at 9 am this morning, heading east. The pod included some adult males and calves. At this time we aren't sure whether these were Transients or Residents - did anyone else see them or get photos? (These were the Transients from yesterdays Sightings - SM)
submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
June 26: Pacific White Sided Dolphins Reports:
At 3:45 (as I type this) there is a very large school of dolphins (possibly 100 plus) heading south about ½ mile off shore at Grief Point. Moving at a very leisurely pace. Usually if they have any speed we can hear them from the house but today the are just rolling along.
3 pm Around 60 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were slowly cruising Southward by the Westview Ferry Terminal, Powell River. At the same time, I overheard on the radio that there were possibly more Dolphins in Discovery Passage above Campbell River.
This morning's reports started with a very broken radio transmissions about Whales....crackle, crackle....Spit...crackle. You get the picture. The Spit part will make sense when you read the reports farther down.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 25: 6:22 pm Two Humpback Whales and possibly a third were spotted again close in front of the Rona store by Campbell River. (I do know it sounds weird, but it's a landmark - SM) These whales looked similar to the Humpbacks seen over the past while. They are possibly a mother and calf with the third one which would be an escort, usually a larger male protecting his future mate. These Whales were first reported over the radio around 11:30 amfrom an unknown source. Two tours were with them later in the day: Tenacious 3 from Discovery Marine Safaris and Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching
June 25: 12 pm Approximately 12 Dall's Porpoises were being playful in the upper Discovery Passage / lower Johnstone Strait area. Again, heard through broken radio transmissions from unknown sources.
June 25: Transient Orca Reports throughout the day: 10 am The crackling Whale report I noted above came in. At 11:20 am another report came in which was just as crackling with a location of possibly Whaletown, Cortez Island. Later, the BC Ferry Tacheck, reported seeing Orca just milling about for over an hour from 12 pm between Whaletown and Heriot Bay, Quadra Island. Once the tours managed to find these Orca at 3:35 pm by Francisco Point, Cape Mudge area of Quadra Island, they were provided with a spectacular show of breaching, tail slapping and general socializing of between 5 to 6 Transient Orca. They continued along the Quadra Shore up toRebecca Spit (the Spit in the initial crackling radio transmission - SM) then back down towards Francisco Point. Aaron, of Campbell River Whale Watching called in the report and said that by the time they left, around 5 pm the tour must have seen around 20 or so breaches from these very active Orca. Must have been spectacular!
From Farther South: Following three reports submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
June 25: J and K Pods of Southern Resident (fish eating) Orca are still in the Puget Sound area.
and a late Report of Transients by Clayoquot:
First time sighting in Clayoquot - after 20+years that doesn't happen often. We had the Alaskan (Transient orca) gang (T075s) visit on June 20. They harassed a fur ball (Sea Otter) for a while but didn't kill it. They were oddly friendly in that they approached and circled 2 of the boats. Not totally sure if the bull was in fact T075A as a chunk is missing from the top trailing edge. (Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research verified the bull as T075A)
Rod Palm, Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society, Tofino, BC
Possible Entangled Humpback in Puget SoundOrca Network has been working with Cascadia Research & NOAA Fisheries to try to help find a reportedly entangled whale, possibly the Humpback that has been in the area lately. If you see it, call Cascadia Research at 1-800-747-7329 (or the Marine Mammal Response Hotline in Canada at 1-800-465-4336 - SM) immediately. Boaters, please keep your distance and notify Cascadia if you see the whale. If you live in the Dalco passage area, you can assist in looking for this whale from shore as well. Thanks so much
Locally we had the same two Humpback Whales and a couple of groups of Pacific White Sided Dolphins. The Transient Orca were elusive again after their appearance yesterday - tomorrow they can be expected to make another appearance. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 24: 10:20 am Around 20 to 30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins slowly and steadily cruised past Westview, Powell River headed towards Grief Point. I was disappointed not to see them leaping, but the water was so calm, they're always a pleasure to see. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 24: 10 am The same (although I didn't receive the photos to confirm IDs - SM)two Humpack Whales from yesterday were spotted again in Discovery Passage close to Brown's Bay. Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching
June 24: 10 am Around 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins just above Discovery Passage closer to Okisollo Channel. Jeff (Fog Horn) running a tour out of Painter's Lodge
From Farther South, five J and K Pod Reports below submitted by:: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Bumpy day today on the west side of San Juan! We got soaked on the way down but it was worth it! We spotted a small group of J's around False Bay, one of which was J26. The water was pretty choppy so ID's were difficult but J26 did a couple bellyflops for us which made it a bit easier. Here's a picture of it
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
Lots of great Orca calls, possibly J Pod on Lime Kiln right now at 4pm this Thursday afternoon June 23rd. Always good to hear especially having seen them two hours ago. I was out earlier on the Ocean Magic out of Victoria at noon, and saw several Orca, J pod and L 87 foraging and heading north toward the park off San Juan Island in choppy seas and windy conditions. A joy to see and hear.
Marie O'Shaughnessy.Victoria BC.
A wonderful parade of whales passed our Orca Rock on Galiano today around 2:20 pm. About 10 whales, fishing as they progressed through Active Pass. A resting line for a short period of time, then many tail slaps as they went by us.
Karoline Cullen, Galiano Island
The Center for Whale Research were with Js and Ks from NW San Juan Island at 6:30 am, up to S. Pender Island at 10:12 am. At 11:23 they were off the south end of Saturna Island, appearing to be continuing travel to the NE.
Resident killer whales were reported at nearly the farthest point we can travel on our trips and they weren't coming our way south either. We crossed the border into Canada at the Haro Straight, went into Plumper Sound and between Mayne and Saturna Islands to pop out on the other side in the Strait of Georgia: along Mayne Island and BAM: whales!J30 "Riptide" and friends/family from J-pod were together, with several cow-calf pairs. Even further, many of the calves--and some of the adults--were incredibly active, with tail slapping, pec slapping, upside down tail slapping, SPY-HOPPING, and breaching! And not just the lazy kinda-sorta breaches; we're talking full on clear-the-water breaching! we could see the city of VANCOUVER! A little farther north They were all over the place and being a little sassy too. It looked like
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
And a Transient Report from Alaska submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Heard today captains saw super pod (of Transient orcas) here took adult humpback. Resurrection bay three miles west of cape.Last couple days been 7 super pods in Puget bay. Went out yesterday didn't see one orcas but lots of humpies where close to where they got it today.
Busy day today with Humpback Whales, searching for those elusive Transient Orca, just to find that I, with a couple of friends on board, went right past them, and Pacific White Sided Dolphins in a couple of locations. The weather was mixed with gorgeous sunshine and calm seas intermixed with the occasional shower, wind, downpour then lumpy seas. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 23: 5:45 pm 2 Humpback Whales were slowly headed Southward close to Chatham Point. (No photos for ID purposes, but apparently there were some nice tail flukes shown. - SM) Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching
June 23: 2:45 pm At least 5 Orca were spotted just south of Lund headed in a Northerly direction. (These are the elusive whales I missed on the way back to Powell River - SM) Gina, Lund Water Taxi
June 23: 1:30 pm 20 + Pacific White Sided Dolphins were playing and foraging by Steep Island, Discovery Pass. Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 23: 12:40 pm As we headed out from Powell River towards Mitlenatch Island to find the Transient Orca(see sightings report below)6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins cruised past us close to the South-West tip of Harwood Island heading South-East very intent on continuing. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 23: 9:15 am Around 12 Transient Orca were reported between Hernando and Mitlenatch Islands. Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching Tenacious 3, Discovery Marine Safaris caught up with them soon after, slowly working their way South-East and left them around 10:45 am 1 mile SE of Mitlenatch Island.
Short report today of Transient Orca. Guess those Dolphins left the area for a reason. Sounds like thins are quite everywhere. Sometimes it's hard to remember that it is a big ocean. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 22: 2 pm The same Three Transient Orca including T002C were found in Whale Pass by Rendezvous Island headed in a North-Easterly direction. A short time later they did a bit of zig zag and started Southward. Garry left them around 3:30 pm close to Hill Island in Sutil Channel with some other whale watching boats. These are the same whales that have been in and around the same general area over a number of weeks now. They appear and disappear every day or so probably into one of the many channels and inlets around and just above Desolation Sound. Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys
Today's Sightings include Pacific White Sided Dolphins (see photos below) in front of Powell River, J and K Pods of Resident Orca in the San Juans, and Transient Orca and a Humpback Whale off Tofino. Good start to the Summer!
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 21: 6 pm During a quick scan of the waters in front of Powell River, the distinctive dorsals and splashes of around 60 Pacific White Sided Dolphins foraging back and forth in front of the Mill got me to grab gear and head down to the skiff. The sun shining and calm waters was an extra bonus. The Dolphins were only interested in feeding, chasing fish close in to the Willingdon Beach shore. I stayed with them till around 9:20 pm when they suddenly exploded out of the water and made a B-line back towards the Mill then continued towards Lund. It was interesting to also see some terns picking off some of the excess feed.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Photos below by Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Below Four Reports submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Heading south out of Friday Harbor we headed further south towards Smith Island we encountered a pod of fast traveling orcas. This pod of killer whales (believed to be a mix of J and K pod) had everyone's attention as they displayed an array of exciting behaviors! A rambunctious younger member of the group was the first to breach! As the pod spread further apart they became even more active with several members of the group breaching, spyhopping, and kicking. At one point we even had a simultaneous breach from two of the pod members! The whales kept us awing for as long as we could handle and as if the whales did not entertain us enough, we were lucky to have a bald eagle sighting and lots of lazy harbor seals hauled out on Whale Rocks as we made our way back to Friday Harbor!
Alex - Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
Barbara Bennett of the Island Co./WSU Beach Watchers reporting seeing whale spouts & several boats with the whales, near Ebey's Landing, West Whidbey Island, at around 12:40 pm. It appeared the whales were moving closer to the Pt. Townsend side of the inlet a bit later.
6 transient orcas ( 1 adult bull, 1 calf and 4 females/juveniles) off Cow Bay, Flores Island just NW of Tofino at 16:00. No one manged any ID's as we gave them a very respectful distance. Our evening trip was spent in their company off Whaler Island (!!) closer towards Tofino. We left them at 20:00 as they formed a resting line with their direction set up Miller Channel (Humpback report continued below).
June 21(Continued from report above) Our trip back to Tofino on the offshore discovered a feeding gray whale in Ahous Bay and then a traveling humpback 1 mile offshore Lennard Lighthouse. Hat-trick of whales! Claire Mosley, Marine Biologist, Jamies Whaling Station, Tofino.
Sounds like the same three Transient Orca made their presence be known again in the same area they seem to prefer transiting. The Dolphins in our area are probably just trying to get past the Transient Orca so they can meet up with approximately 1000 Pacific White Sided Dolphins at the top of Johnstone Strait. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphin BC
June 20: Transient Orca Reports throughout the day: 8 pm 3 Orca by Shelter Point just South of Campbell River. Looked like T123, T 123A and possibly T123B Nick Templeman
3 pm Transients Westbound by Viner Point / Center Islet heading towards Quadra Island. 1:45 pm Transients in Sutil Channel by Hill Island. Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
12:40 pm 3 Orca in Whale Channel - overheard on radio but too broken to hear from whom.
June 20: Pacific White Sided Dolphin Sightings: 12:40 40 to 50 Pacific White Sided Dolphins headed North-West up into Johnsont Strait by Okisollo Channel.Garry, Aboriginal Journeys 11 am 30 to 40 Pacific White Sided Dolphins by Brown's Bay, just North of Campbell River and in the Narrows. Jen, Campbell River Whale Watching
About 30 white sides in SeymourNarrows (feeding) – 11am. Harbour Porpoise – many different groups of about two in Cordero Channel. Three transient OrcaSouthBoundMarinaIsland – and 3 transient Orca N. Bound “Big Rock” in Campbell River 600pm – and heading over to Quadra Shoreline.
The Transients made their reappearance again today. Still running around the same are and not quite down to Powell River - but almost! Then the Pacific White Sided Dolphins came to the South end of Powell River, but didn't go by. Perhaps they heard the Orca and decided that discretion is the better part of valour. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 19: 8:30 pm 4 Orca spotted by the BC Ferry employees heading North by Quathiaski Cove, by Campbell River. from Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 19: 3 Transient Orca - Reports throughout the day: 5:30 pm They were breaching and tail lobbing around Mace Point, Eastern end of Savary Island.See photos below. from Gordie Coles 4 pm Orca were just going "in circles" by Second Point, Savary Island. from Joel, on Tenacious 3 3 pm The Transients were by Keefer Rock, between Hernando and Savary Isalnds on a very slow roll South-East. from Garry, Aboriginal Journeys 12 pm 3 Orca between Twin and Cortez Islands. 1 Large Male and two females. from Jen, Campbell River Whale Watching 10:30 am Orca reported by Cortez Reef slowly headed towards Baker Pass. from a commercial boat, submitted by Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching
Below Three Photos Courtesy of Gordie Coles
Transient Orca by Savary Island June 19:
Above Three Photos Courtesy of Gordie Coles
Transient Orca by Savary Island June 19:
Jun 19: 9:35 am Over 30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were around one block South of Grief Point, Powell River leaping and foraging. (They never made it around the point - SM) from Margaret and Trevor
June 18: 11 am 3 Dall's Porpoises headed Southward at a no nonsense pace past Westview, Powell River. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
The Transient (meat eating) Killer Whales reappeared today. Although the reports below just say Orca, it is assumed that these are the same Transient Orca that were around over the past while. The only other Cetacean sightings report was of Dall's Porpoise.
And some very interesting Orca information from the D-Tagging project by NOAA and Cascadia Research farther down the page. The link shows some diving patterns of the Southern Resident whales they tagged. Worth the read and look. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
At 5:40 pm I received a call that there were 3 to 4 Orca in a Northbound direction by Major Rock, off the South-West end of the Copeland (Raggeds - local name) Islands towards Savary Island.
At 5:55 pm Rick called back to say that they had turned and looked like they were now Southbound, with numerous breaches and tail lobs.They were too far away to get any photos. These whales really didn't go very far throughout the day. See the other reports below. At 9:30 pm Still no sign of them closer to Powell River. - SM
4:10 pm 3 Dall's Porpoise were seen foraging just out of Nodales Channel into Discovery Passage.
2:40 pm At least 4 Orca hugging close the shoreline Southward along the Raggeds (Copeland Islands).
Bill Smith running the taxi for Lund Water Taxi
8:45 am Someone on the Radio called out to any whale whatchers in the area that there were Orca in Bakers Pass, between Cortex and Hernando Islands. He didn't respond to requests for more information on numbers and direction of the whales.
Orca D-Tagging information from farther South :submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Hi Susan, In response to questions and concerns that have been raised about the NOAA/Cascadia Research Collective Dtagging project we have posted information on the Cascadia website at this link.
If anyone has additional questions please do not hesitate to contact Brad Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the Stanley cup Hockey game and minimal sightings yesterday, today's sightings report includes both June 15 and 16, 2011. Transient (meat eating) Orca are making themselves visible again. They seem to be running a pattern of alternating days of being visible and disappearing up one of the many inlets.
Also, if you'd like to learn more about the Salmon Fish Farms / Feedlots, here's a link to Voices for Wild Salmon - Alexandra Morton's Blog http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/ She has been fighting on behalf of our Wild Salmon for some time now. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Hi Susan. We first saw the Orca T19B and 6 others. Steep Island 1pm and last I heard was southbound by Shelter Point at 3 pm. Never saw any dolphins or porpoise today. Cheers.
Transient Orca arrived here at 6:30 am at the Lighthouse, (Cape Mudge - SM) traveled passed Campbell River and up to Eagles Cove and then turned and are now heading south at the moment (1:25 pm) 7 Orca
Orca Network received a call from Alexia at 12:40 pm - she was watching 2 orcas, a Mom and calf, off the north side of Sucia Island, WA heading east. She said there were hundreds of Harbor seals in the area, and with J pod out west, (open Pacific - SM) it sounds like a pair of Transient orcas.
Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Hi. Quiet for me. A few Harbour Porpoise near Yuculta Rrapids. 330 pm. Cheers.
Caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye at 10:35 am so quickly grabbed the binoculars just in time to see another blow and the half body porpoising move that's quite typical of a Minke Whale on the move. And then it was gone...me standing there scanning like mad. I'd like to say that I saw the back again to confirm 100%, but I'm only 90% sure of the sighting. Minke's are quite notorious for a few quick breaths then disappear for long periods to pop up quite a distance off. This one seemed to be on the move Northward just off Westview, Powell River.
Today and yesterday we had a Humpback Whale by Campbell River, but not sure if it's the same one. Dall's Porpoises including one Hybrid was spotted today as well as Pacific White Sided Dolphins. There's one or two Common Dolphins (see report and photo below) in the San Juans and hundreds of Pacific White Sided Dolphins above Johnstone Strait. No Orca reports today or yesterday in this area, but J Pod in the South. I also received an email from Lisa Spaven, Marine Mammal Response Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada with a couple of interesting articles about the value of marine mammal stranding networks around the world. For the article click this link: Whale stranding give living species clues.The second one is a document. I can forward the report UN Conservation Value of MM Stranding Networks from the United Nations 2005 to anyone interested. Just drop me an email requesting it. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 14: 12:50 pm a large Humpback Whale was seen between Quadra and Vancouver Islands by Race Point. It was doing longer dives as it headed Northward against the current. It's always a great surprise when they breach, and this one did a couple of times. By 4:30 pm it was only by Maude Island, so not very far, and still doing long dives. (This may have been the same Humpback Whale from the 13th. See Below. Hope to get a photo from one of the tours for possible identification - SM)
Reports from both: Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching and Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 14: 4 to 4:30 pm 6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins and a few Dall's Porpoises around the Stuart Island area. Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching
June 14: 2 pm 4 Dall's Porpoises including one all greyish in colour that may be a Hybrid Dall's / Harbour Porpoise cross were seen zipping about by Churchhouse in Calm Channel. Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 14: 12:30 pm One or two Dall's Porpoises close to Quadra Island in Discovery Pass. Radio reception was broken, but I believe it was reported by Aaron and Jen of Campbell River Whale Watching - SM
June 13: 9:45 am A lone Humpback Whale was Southbound at Race Point. It was first thought to be a Gray Whale, but later confirmed it was a large Humpback. At 11:30 am it was around Duncan Bay, Discovery Passage. Radio reception again was broken, but Garry, Aboriginal Journeys relayed the message from Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching
From Farther South: June 13:
Resident (fish eating) Orca from J Pod were somewhere in the San Juan Islands, WA being very vocal. (Didn't sound like anyone made it out with them - SM)
Reports: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
Over the weekend we were able to get some photos (see below photo) of a common dolphin that has been sighted off Boston Harbor lighthouse since 5 June. Upon comparing these photos to photos sent to us a week ago, we found that they were different animals. This is consistent with one early report of 2 dolphins, and the more recent reports of 1. It is possible that the missing dolphin did not make it, so please be on the alert for reports of unusual stranded animal in the south sound.
Best, Annie Douglas, Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network,, Whidbey Island, WA
You are welcome to include the attached photo in your blog. A Common Dolphin was first reported on the Cascadia Facebook page on June 5th – this photo was taken Saturday June 11th, although appears to be a different individual than the one seen June 5th. The dolphin was seen Sunday and we have someone going out this morning (June 14) to see if it is still there.
Common dolphin in S. Puget Sound near Olympia, WA June 11, 2011
Today's sightings reports are minimal. The Transients seem to be either farther down South, as in the ones that headed that way last evening, or farther up North. It appears we have a very busy day followed by a quiet one then back to busy. Unusual cycle, but there are a few photos of the whales from the past two days below today's sightings report. Tomorrow's report may be delayed due to the hockey game - Go Canucks! Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 12: Around 3 pm unknown large number of Pacific White Sided Dolphins in Sutil Channel by Whaletown, Cortez Island. I only caught part of the radio transmission so uncertain who reported it - SM
June 12: 12 pm Numerous Dall's Porpoise playfully bow and wake riding by Hole in the Wall, just below the Yuculta Rapids.(Probably happy the Transient Orca were gone - SM) Fog Horn Jeff, Painter's Lodge
As the sun dissipated the daunting clouds, we encountered J-Pod near Pile Point as they headed north toward Lime Kiln Point. A few individuals breached while the rest of the group continued to move at a slow pace in a spread out formation. We were excited to identify Riptide (J-30), the alleged great-grandson of Granny (J-2), who is believed to be 100 years old and the eldest female of the entire Southern Resident Community!
Kirsten Dale, Naturalist for San Juan Safaris Whale Watching
Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
As I started typing this there were Transient Orca right out in front with their blows highlighted by the sun as the head towards Grief Point. A great end to a great day on the water with eleven people from the Malaspina Naturalist Group out on a "Whale Seeking" tour that found two groups of Transient Orca, Dall's Porpoises and some black bears, including one taking a nap on a rocky outcropping above the water. The sun came out and the water was calm. Sightings follow below. No time to post photos today. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 11: 8 pm 5 Transient Orca(same ones from earlier in the day) by Atrevida Reef then Harwood Island then Westview, Powell River heading Southward towards Grief Point. Looked like they had a snack when they were closer to Harwood Island. I received a couple of "can you see them" calls thanks to John & Joan T. and Steve G.
June 11: 6 pm Received an update via Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching that Jen saw Dusty the Gray Whale in Seymout Narrows heading Northward. Earlier in the day, around 2 pm, someone over the radio said there was a Gray Whale out in front of the Rona Store in Campbell River. Sounds funny, but that the landmark close to shore - SM
June 11: 5:30 pm 30+ Pacific White Sided Dolphins were just outside of Okisollo Channel into Discovery Channel bow and wake riding.
Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
June 11: 2:30 pm and 3 pm reports of Orca by Savary Island, Mace Point then closer to the Iron Mines on the mainland side. Looked like they were heading in a Northerly direction. (These were the same Transient whales that were seen earlier in the day as well as the ones that headed South this evening. - SM)
June 11: Lots of Dall's Porpoises: Between 2:20 pm and 3 pm we had various small groups of Dall's Porpoise. Some came by to bow ride for a short run close to Hole in the Wall, Calm Channel, then another two were spotted by Rendezvous Islands and another 5 zipped about as we started to head down Whale Channel(or is that Whale Passage? - SM).
June 11: Two Transient Orca Encounters with the same group: After entering Bute Inlet, 1 pm we saw the second group of 5 Transient Orca headed against the tidal rapids at Arran Rapids. As Jack put it "an Orca Jacuzzi" with the whirlpools running. They were taking their time going through, when a little Harbour Seal drifted in, never noticing that he was headed straight into these meat hunters. The orca had their snack. The whales made it through the narrows, down past Sonora Lodge then turned back up into Bute Inlet to do it again. Around 2:45 pm they took, in spectacular fashion, I'm told, a Harbour Porpoise, again in Arran Rapids. These Orca were left still up in that area when Garry left them. Reports from Susan MacKay out on Campbell River Whale Watching boat and Garry from Aboriginal Journeys
June 11: 9:30 am 5 Transient Orca just South of Twin Islands and Baker Pass between Cortez and Hernando Islands. We watched as they breached, tail lobbed and rested. There were a few vocals in between boat noise. They were between Powell Islets and Bliss Landing, by the Copeland (Ragged - local name) Islands when we left then still slowly working towards Sarah Point around 11:30 am.
June 11: 9:20 am a Harbour Porpoise was spotted by Squirrel Cove, Cortez Island just before we heard the Orca were behind us and we turned back to locate them.
June 10: Late Report that around 12 Orca were Southbound down by Black Point, south of Powell River late in the day. (This is unconfirmed, but looking at the photos of yesterday's whales, they are different Transients than the ones from today - SM)
There were Orca this morning and this afternoon, but they are very good at hiding. Dall's Porpoises again were spotted a few times as well as Pacific White Sided Dolphins. The reports are below. I'm most excited to report that the Gray Whale that was spotted yesterday (see photos below) by Brown's Bay is "Dusty" the Gray Whale seen recently in the upper Johnstone Strait / Cormorant Island area. It is worrisome to think that the Transient (meat eating) Orca have left new marks on this juvenile, but we need to accept that nature has her course. We can only hope that Dusty manages to keep clear long enough to get too large for small groups of marauding Transients. For comparison, I have photos of Dusty taken Sept. 2010 on the main Whales and Dolphins BC site or jump to the page from Here.
Another link of interest is an update report and photos of the Hybrid Dall's / Harbour Porpoise stranded in the San Juan Islands, WA May 21, 2011. Click Here for the link. I don't know if they've come with a name for these Hybrids, but personally, "Hal's Porpoise" sounds good to me. They used one of my photos of a mother Dall's with her offspring Hybrid. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Now for today's Report:
Southern Resident Orcas (L-pod) heading west past Clover Point, Victoria BC approximately 5 pm.
Maria Chantelle Tucker, Victoria, B.C.
submitted by; Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island, WA
June 10: 2:30 pm The Transient Orca were again spotted (see below for earlier report - SM) by Breton Islands, Hoskyn Channel the ferry was kind enough to report this sightings to Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching. The whales did, however disappear somewhere and were not spotted by the afternoon tours.
June 10: 2:30 pm Dall's Porpoises by Jimmy Judd Island in the Yuculta Rapids. Heard through broken radio transmission by AJ who was on a water taxi run.
June 10: 9:40 am 4 to 5 Orca between Marina Island and Francisco Point in a general Southward direction closer to Quadra Island. There was one large male, possibly T102. (see later in the day report above where they were spotted actually North-West of this location - SM)
From: Garry, Aboriginal Journeys
Out in front of Powell River there have been no confirmed sightings of any whales or dolphins yesterday or today. I did however see what I thought was possibly a larger blow and back (Humpback?) between the mill and Harwood Island around mid-day today. Unfortunately, not seeing it again, leaves it off the "official" list.
The radio reception was bad both days also since most of the tours were heading up into the various inlets above Desolation Sound and Discovery Pass. With everyone busy looking for the Transient Orca, the reports are a bit hit and miss, but doesn't sound like anyone found them. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
June 9: 4:50 pm A Gray Whale was spotted hugging the shoreline close to Brown's Bay above Campbell River heading in a South-East direction. Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching
June 9: 1:45 pm Dall's Porpoises around Thurtson Bay, Nodales Channel. No numbers or direction. heard from broken snippets over the radio from one of the tours
A few times in the day, again through broken transmissions there were Dalls Porpoises up around the Bute Inlet area.
From Farther South: submitted by: Susan & Howard, Orca Network
Great day today!! We had J pod a couple miles north of East Point in the Strait of Georgia. Best day of the year so far! They were a big spread, but tons of breaching everywhere you looked.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
J pod was present and playful today! We first saw the orcas at Saturna Island's East Point as both juveniles and adults took turns breaching, lob tailing and spy hopping as they slowly made their way east. Two mature males were in the lead for some time, which we believe to be the pod-mates Blackberry (J-27) and Mike (J-26). An exceptional day to be viewing wildlife and on the water!
Kirsten, naturalist for San Juan Safaris Whale Watching
Resident Orca from J Pod were around Saturna Island off East Point.
And Farther North West:
There were reports of Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Humpbacks in the upper Johnstone Strait area.
It was a good day for the tours that were on the water today with Garry finding the Transient Orca that had evaded them for days. Thanks also to him for the consistent reports and current photos shared with everyone. In front of Powell River things were quiet till this evening when the Dolphins showed up complete with an escort of birds. A slight change from Whales and Dolphins is the photo of a very new fawn feeding with a patient Mom.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Isn't Nature Wonderful?
Photo: Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys June 7, 2011
7 pm Smaller group of Pacific White Sided Dolphins were in Beazely Pass, Surge Narrows.
6:30 pm Approximately 60 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were foraging with a ton of birds above them swooping down to pick up some of the feed they were chasing up from Grief Point to Harwood Island, Powell River. They continued Northward towards Atrevida Reef and......?
Good eyes John and Joan T.
(At this point I will apologize to Joan Bech who I confused with Joan Treen on yesterday's report as well as in my email response to her- SM)
Around 4:30 pm around 5 groups of 4 to 5 Dall's Porpoise each were in Calm Channel and Bute Inlet foraging.
10 am The early morning run up Bute Inlet to the Orford River came across the stealthy 5 Transient Orca. They've been in the area for quite a while - check out the previous hit and miss sightings reports in the Archived pages of this Blog. They were by Clipper Point heading out of Bute Inlet towards Calm Channel.
Photo: Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys June 7, 2011
From Orca Network, the next three reports were submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett
J and L Pod Resident Orcas Re-Enter the Southern part of Georgia Strait:
At 5:45 pm Jeff LaMarche of Eagle Wing Tours called reporting the residents had reached Secretary Island, 6.5 miles wast of Race Rocks. He said they were very playful, and the pods had been identified as J and L pods.
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called at 5:20 pm to relay a report of many residents coming in past Otter Point, S. Vancouver Island, a half hour earlier (4:50 pm).
While Transient Orca:
Near Kelp Reef, Haro St. at 1802, 4 Transients just took out a Dall's porpoise. A few minutes later I began picking up calls at 1803 on OrcaSound hydrophones - lasted about 3 minutes then ship noise. Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island