Have You Seen Any of These?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sightings Today: Porpoises, Orca and Updates:Gray Whale Plus

It was a bit windy today on the water making sightings a bit tough. The tours out from Campbell River today could not locate the group of 5 Transient Orca that are sporadically seen around the Sutil Channel to Bute Inlet area. See report below. Recent sightings report a Gray Whale, nicknamed Dusty, that was also around last year in Broughton Strait, just above Johnstone Strait. As some of you know I was fortunate to spend a fair bit of time watching and photographing Dusty last year. Since he/she was pretty small, it's a wonderful surprise to hear of his/her return through all those Transient Orca. Dusty has some very visible scars of encounters with those Orca. See a great report and photos from Jared Towers and Christie McMillan at: http://mersociety.wordpress.com/
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

June 6:
Orca north bound along Marina Island this morning at 8:00 am (courtesy of Richard Brookers of Painter's Lodge)
forwarded by Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching

June 6:
Pretty quiet day today and windy in later part of tour. We had several groups of 4-6 Dalls Porpoises in Bute Inlet and in Calm Channel  2:30 – 3:15 pm
Tomorrow I will  be departing CR at 7 30 am on a water taxi  run to Orford River and back. I'll do my best to find the Orca for the rest of the gang on my way to Orford. They are in the back somewhere.
Have a good one, Cheers

June 4: (received June 6)
Good afternoon Susan,
We've just returned home in Roberts Creek, and I wanted to let you know that on Saturday around 10 am while travelling to Narrows Inlet, we saw about 50 (hard to tell, like counting chickens) Pacific White-Sided Dolphins in Sechelt Inlet at the arm of Salmon Inlet. A real treat!
Very much enjoy reading your blog. Thank you. All the best,
Joan T.

The Word from Farther South: No Orca reports down there, but the next four reports submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

June 5 and 6:
A Gray Whale was seen feeding near Langley, Whidbey Island, WA.

June 6: 
Minke Whales were spotted around Salmon Bank, WA

June 5: 
I saw what I believe was a Minke whale yesterday (6/5).  It was in the Canadian waters between Port Angeles and Victoria in the vicinity of Coyote Bank.  It was feeding, heading in an easterly direction.  There were also lots and lots (perhaps 150) of harbor (with those numbers, they were probably Pacific White Sided Dolphins - SM) porpoises between Victoria and Anacortes.
Raymond Timm, Senior Aquatic Scientist, King County Water & Land Resources

June 5
We headed out toward the Straight of Juan de Fuca on glassy, calm water. Behind us Mt Baker was illuminated as though from the heavens.  We continued on toward Victoria.  It was a perfect day for a nice, long drive. After an hour of eye-straining binocular use a blow appeared in the distance.  A large, dark body rose to the surface.  As we drew closer we could see that this was one of our more infrequent visitors.  It was an animal I knew very well.  My old friend the humpback whale.  My second sighting of the season, the solitary giant was taking slow, frequent breaths at the surface.  The first fluke up dive brought a hushed cheer from the enraptured group.  Knowing the humpback's penchant for lengthy dives I started to explain the incredible breath holding abilities of the species.  Just then, as if to prove me wrong, the whale surfaced.  More slow breaths and then another dive.  Again the whale surfaced relatively soon after the dive.  We stayed until the next dive and then turned back to begin our long drive home.  On the way back in we spotted another black body at the surface.  This time there was no visible exhalation, which could only mean...minke.  Species number two!  As we were moving in for a better look a second Minke surfaced about 200 yards off our starboard side.  Surprise minke!  Just when the day couldn't get any better we spotted a pair of steller's sea lions hauled out on a buoy and a pair of bald eagles sitting on a rock near another pair of HUGE steller's.  We returned a little bit late, but ecstatic from out epic day on the water.
Laura, naturalist, san juan safaris, San Juan Island, WA