Have You Seen Any of These?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sightings Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises August 24 and 25

Lots of Sightings – this is another long report covering Resident Orca, Transient Orca, Humpbacks, Minkes, Dolphins and Porpoises. It's really great to know which Minke Whales are being seen. Their ID's are available in the Second Edition Catalogue through Jared Towers, jrtowers@gmail.com. This is not something everyone would want, but for us who try to follow the who's who and where of all these marine mammals, it's great. We can tell where an individual animal was seen. We are tracking movements. Your sightings reports are so important for this and it also helps everyone stay aware of animals in the areas.
I'm sorry for the delay in getting this report posted – finally figured out why I couldn't connect – as well as being behind an island.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

Northern Resident Orca

August 25:

7 am A large group of Orca were headed West by Lizard Point and spread out right to Bear Point. They were later spotted still westing out by Numas Island.
Various radio reports from local fishermen

9:30 am A12 and the two A36 brothers were heading East by Tyee Point towards Nodales Channel in the lower Johnstone Strait.
Roger, Gizmo via Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys

11:30 am The A34 Matriline of Orca were by Ripple Point with A12 and the boys still headed East.
Nick Templeman, Eagle Eye Adventures

August 24:

9 am A12 & the 36's, A30's and I15's were mid Johnstone Strait headed East between Cracroft Point and the Cliffs across from Robson Bight.
Various radio transmissions

Around 1 pm Some of the Orca had made their way West to Blinkhorn, by Telegraph Cove and continued West while some of the others stayed down along Hanson Island to Cracroft Point.
Various radio transmissions & Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

Transient Orca

August 25:

9 am 6 Orca were spotted by Haddington Island headed towards Alert Bay. (this report came in a bit later, so no-one found them, but see next report as well as the 24th. – SM)
Bill Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching

11:30 am 6 Orca were seen around Baronett Passage and headed East in Johnstone Strait past Cracroft Point.
Local fisherman and Leah at Cracroft Point

August 24:

7 am 7 Orca were reportedly seen off Kelsey Bay. They were assumed to be Transients, but no-one found them.
Nick Templeman, Eagle Eye Adventures

Around 3 pm Transient Orca (T100's including T142 with top nick his dorsal) rounded Donagal Head into Cormorant Channel. Jared Towers first spotted them along the Malcolm Island shore, and I also picked them up off Stubbs Island. These were the same group of Transients and it seems they were doing the same route as yesterday (23rd) evening. They passed up on a Sea Lion, lots of Harbour Seals and some Dall's and Harbour Porpoises were quick to get out of the area. We paced them for quite a while doing just under 4 knots, and I left them by Pearse Pass with Jared still West bound up Cormorant Channel.

Humpback Whales

August 25:

7 am a couple of Humpbacks were feeding at the same time as the Orca were by Lizard Pointfrom a local fisherman who reported the Resident Orca

Throughout the day: (I'm afraid I put the sightings in this fashion for Humpback Whales since they seem to favour the same areas quite consistently. - SM) Humpback Whale Sightings over the radio are pretty consistent from Bold Head, Donagal Head, Stubbs Island, Plumper Islands and Blackfish Sound in general.

Another few Humpbacks were spotted by Wells Pass area. “Not as active as yesterday when they were hopping out like popcorn” unknown over the radio

The total at one time counted at around 4 pm were between 5 and 6 Humpback Whales seen from from the Bold Head area. I could identify 'Freckles' and it looked like 'Pulteney' was doing a few of the same high tail lobs of the other day. I did not see 'Ripple' and her calf, but did see the other slightly larger calf with his/her Mom who I believe is 'Jigger'.

August 24:

9:30 am 2 Humpback Whales were at Kaikash Creek. They were identified as 'Whiskers' and 'Barracuda'.
Jim Borrowman, Orcella Expeditions

10:45 am 3 Humpbacks were by the Blinkhorn light including a Mom and calf, but not 'Ripple'. This calf was larger than 'Ripple's'.
Bill Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching

Throughout the day: Numerous sightings of Humpback Whales in and around Bold Head, Donagal Head, Stubbs Island, Plumper Islands and Blackfish Sound in general.

Total count for the afternoon trip out of Stubbs Island Whale Watching was 10 or 11 different animals.

Minke Whales

August 25:

Although this was not an actual sighting, both Minke Whales and Humpback Whales have some very unique acoustics and I did hear these acoustics on my hydrophone. I did not hear if any were actually spotted today.

August 24:

12 pm A Minke Whale was feeding just out from my anchorage in the Pearse Islands then headed over towards the Plumper Islands and was joined by another Minke to 'work' the current lines and tide rips in Weynton Pass. It was 'Ripcurl' and 'Eclipse', a Minke I first photographed in 2007 as a juvenile. See current photo below.
Minke Whale #006 'Eclipse'
August 24, 2011
Susan MacKay, SG Images

Pacific White Sided Dolphins

August 25:

A few reported in Blackfish Sound by Jim Borrowman, Orcella Expeditions at the same time as I had 6 by my boat around 4 pm.

August 24:

11:30 am 8 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were reported between Blinkhorn and Kaiskash Creek, Johnstone Strait.
Bill Mackay, Mackay Whale Watching

Dall's and Harbour Porpoises

August 25:

11:30 am – 12:30 pm a couple of small groups of 2 to 4 Dall's Porpoise each were foraging by the Stephenson Islets and Stubbs Island, Weynton Pass.

August 24:

3 pm 2 Dall's Porpoise and 2 Harbour Porpoise headed down Weynton Pass just prior to the Transient Orca arriving in the same area.