Have You Seen Any of These?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dead Orca in the News and Cetacean Report Update

Hot off the presses (and in our Links below): A dead Orca was slowly drifting Northward and has been pulled up on the Bates Beach area just north of the Comox ferry terminal. There may be a connection to the November 28th sighting report of some Orca actually inside the Comox bar, although unconfirmed. In the news video clip below, there are some rake marks on the back of the whale that could potentially be from other Orca attempting to pull a stranded whale off the beach/bar. A necropsy is expected to be performed. It is still unknown if this was a Northern or Southern Resident or Transient Bigg's Killer Whale. Other reports below cover at least one Humpback Whale that was in the Lund area, but possibly now heading South. Photos submitted so far have only managed to eliminate some Humpbacks from the identification list. Pacific White Sided Dolphins round out the reports.
**Just prior to publishing this report, word came in that it appears to be a Southern Resident Killer Whale. What a huge blow to their population!
Susan MacKay & Lynne Cracknell, Whales and Dolphins BC
Have you seen a whale, dolphin or porpoise?
Call 1-877-323-9776 or Email your report.
Every sighting report is valuable!

Humpback Whale by Lund Harbour
November 30, 2014
Gord Chouinard, Lund Seaside Inn


Dec 3:
3:30 pm: We have a place on Quadra Island, at the south end looking at Marina Island and Cortez Island. I was about to leave today, around 3:30 pm, when I heard a blow. It looked like a male and two females, or two kids, cruising by, heading north. A few weeks ago we saw two males and probably 4-6 Moms and/or kids cruising by, going south. Anyway, it's always wonderful to see them.
David Brown, Chair, Haig-Brown Institute.

Nov 29: report of 2 Orca by Walkem Islands group in Johnstone Strait, also a large pod in Okisollo Channel in the last couple of days.
Fabien Minfray, Eagle Eye Adventures.

Nov 28:
11:30 am: We sighted Orca inside the Comox bar by Royston on Vancouver Island. It was a lovely calm day for a last boat run. Excellent visibility. Thought it was a sea lion or log at first till I saw the blow about a half mile south of Kingfisher. There were four moving two by two almost halfway between Kingfisher and Cone Bar buoy about 11:30 am. Thought I was in for a kill as porpoises on the other side of the boat. But after half hour, no sign. There they were on the inside of the harbour. Not much deep water there. Moved to close off Royston Wrecks, breaching, till 1pm. Also thought the sea lions might be hiding from them, as very close to the spit and together. However, no sign of anything but whales in the air over at the wrecks. They left very leisurely an hour before high tide. 15 foot tide 2pm, then headed out of harbour. All were smaller. No large males. Fins all smaller and curved back. Watched through binocs from boat near Comox marina. 3 sea lions close to Indian spit. Never seen Orca inside the bar before, lots of harbour porpoises though, at least ten on October full moon. Curious as to which way they came and left from Baynes Sound. They were all smaller whales, looking at fins curved back as well. Lucky you with Lund humpback! Thanx for your reply and your dedicated monitoring. I love whales! And have been surprised that there is very little reporting from our area. (additional email information and kind words has been merged with first email in above - SM)
Wendy Stevens, Comox area


December 4:
12 pm One big blow (Humpback is presumed from telephone description - SM) visible from the Grief Point area looking towards VanAnda. The whale is moving South down Malaspina Channel. Saw single large blows a couple of times then nothing more.
Eric Green, Powell River

Humpback Whale by Lund Harbour
November 30, 2014 – 2 photos
Gord Chouinard, Lund Seaside Inn

Nov 30:
10:19 am Humpback whale is between Lund and Savary Island – came up a number of times, looks like he is feeding.
Gord Chouinard, Lund Seaside Inn, Sevilla Island.

Nov 30:
There has been a Humpback whale hanging around our area for a couple of months now. I have a cabin right on the water (mainland) facing Savary and Hernando islands. Yesterday at about 3:30 pm the Humpback was right out in front. He was with a group (5 or so) of sea lions. They appeared to be working together to hunt fish. They were all so close together you couldn't tell which fin belonged to who. The Humpback would dive, then come up and spout making a big loud noise. The sea lions were going up and down all around him. The carried on for about half an hour, eventually working their way north out of my sight. Is this normal behavior? Sure was fun to watch, will write again if I notice any other strange behaviors.
PS: Apparently it was cruising the Lund breakwater with 2 sea lions yesterday as well, I also heard that someone had claimed to see two of them, I have only seen the one with my own eyes.
Wendy, Lund Harbour Wharfinger

Nov 29:
10:45 am: Sighted the Humpback whale again in the same area, around “Natalie's Island, a rocky islet at the south end of Copeland Islands, and had a great look at its tail. I just wasn't swift enough to take photos, but it was quite white underneath, like it's frosted, it was such a cold day that the description came easily to mind. I will keep looking. (I've noticed that Dolphins passing by like to explore around that little island also, must be good feeding). Then it headed north into Thulin Passage. However around 11:00 am I spotted a whale by its spouting off towards the west side of the first Copeland Island, east of Major Rock, so could be more than one whale here.
Mary Tilberg, Lund

Nov 28:
5:14 pm: My place is on Rasmussen Bay, just south of the Copeland Islands, north of Lund. Around 2:00 pm this afternoon, November 28th, I first caught sight of a spray. The water was very rough but I instantly thought, that had to have come from a whale. A few moments later there it was right off the little island at the bay (I call it Natalie's Island.) It was momentarily at the surface then lobbed its magnificent tail and went under. I followed its progress south towards Lund by its breathing sprays and caught sight of it several more times at the surface before it disappeared. Very thrilled! Perhaps it's been sleeping in the Copelands?
Mary Tilberg, Lund

Nov 28:
First seen on Nov 11, a Humpback whale off Dallas Road, Victoria, some tail waving and a couple of breaches. Again this morning (Nov 28), same pattern, swimming back and forth, tail waving and a breach. Just heard he has been spotted off Clover Point. Again, sorry, no photos, so no idea if it is the same whale or not.
Lesley Lewis.

Humpback Whale by Lund – Savary Island
November 30, 2014
not very clear, but a breach
Gord Chouinard, Lund Seaside Inn


Nov 26:
11:45 am-12:45 pm: We were watching four Pacific White Sided Dolphins slowly working their way back and forth in an easterly direction at the west end of the Trail Islands, in the Strait of Georgia. We saw a huge leap by one but mostly they were just keeping close to the surface along the flotsam as it was slack tide. There seemed to be one large one staying aside and three smaller ones staying close. One of the three may even be quite young.
Judy Marusiak, Sechelt


In the News: Dead Orca near Comox / Bates Beach, Vancouver Island:

And the News clip from Chek TV:

Huffington Post piece on Orca Rescue with GoPro video clip:

Camera captures birth of killer whale at SeaWorld:

Update on the false killer whale calf rescued in July: “Chester”, as he is known, has grown so much that staff at the Vancouver Aquarium have moved him to a larger pool. Hopefully he will soon be strong enough to be reintroduced to the wild.

Have you seen a whale, dolphin or porpoise?
1-877-323-9776 or Email your report.
Every sighting report is valuable!
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