Have You Seen Any of These?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jan 28 to Jan 30 Sightings

Jan 30 - 6 to 10 Splashes that were not Sea Lions. Due to the sunshine glare, I could not tell for sure if they were Dalls Porpoises or Pacific White Sided Dolphins, but the most likely would be dolphins. Last sighted close to the Northwest sandbar off Harwood Island and heading towards the Powell River Mill.

Jan 29 - Not as much time to scan waters, but I did manage to see the Comox ferry taking an unusual angle. Then I could see some dark animals surfacing. It took till later on the confirm that I was seeing some Killer Whales. I could only see around 5 or 6 of them near the top of Texada Island and between Texada and Rebecca Rocks. They were headed in a southerly direction on the Vancouver Island side of Texada.

Jan 28 - No sightings to report

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sightings Jan 26 and Jan 27

Jan 27 - The morning started with 5 Killer Whales reported off the Iron Mines close to Lund at 10:30 am. They were southbound, so I headed out on the skiff to find them.

16 to 20 Transient Killer Whales appeared by Atrevida Reef, on the mainland side across from Hernando Island. They were moving very slowly spread out into smaller groups in typical Transient Orca fashion. There were two younger calves travelling with a large male, the only male spotted in the group. Another older calf was with a couple of females in a separate group.

The hydrophone was dropped into the water a number of times, but they were silent, even though they did not seem to be on the hunt. A couple of them came right up beside the skiff, and one stopped right underneath for a moment or two. Stopping, as if to rest, like that directly under a boat is something I had never seen or heard of before. They did frequently form resting lines on the surface, as Orca tend to do.

A few continued in the direction of the Powell River Mill, but they all turned and regrouped to head northwest between Harwood and Savary Islands. They continued with noses pointed towards Mittlenatch Island around 3:30 pm.

Only Steller Sea Lions were seen on Vivian Island, so don't know where all those California Sea Lions got to. There were between 50 to 75 of them.

Jan 27 - On returning from the Orca, I had a message on the answering machine that around 1pm there was a large group of Pacific White Sided Dolphins southbound between Grief Point and the Beach Gardens, Powell River close in to shore.

I spoke with the Vancouver Aquarium Cetacean Sightings Network, since I record and report all sightings. Apparently, there are a few large groups of Dolphins travelling in the Georgia Strait. Sightings have also been reported in Nanaimo and they have returned to Howe Sound again. I haven't heard if there are any still in the Sechelt Inlet, so maybe someone could let me know.

Jan 26 - No sightings to report

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jan 24 and Jan 25 Sightings

Jan 25 - No sightings to report

Jan 24 - 5 Killer Whales, or Orca, were reported just south of Myrtle Rocks, south of Powell River with breaches and splashing around noon. They appeared to slowly be continuing southward.

There were numerous Sea Lions which all seemed to rush close in and onto shore, so I assume these were Transient Orcas on the hunt. There were no large male dorsals spotted, but there was quite a bit of rain and fog to look through. It's hard to say whether they entered that part of the strait from the top end of Texada, in front of Powell River, or came up from the bottom end and were turning back south. I didn't spot them from my vantage point, but work has kept me from scanning the water more frequently.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jan 21 to Jan 23 Dolphins and Sea Lions

I had been wondering where the Pacific White Sided Dolphins got to. Normally, at least the past few years, they have been in and around the areas from Sechelt to Cortez Island in the winter months. Last year there were daily sightings of 80 to 100 at a time.

I was extremely happy to spot a group of between 100 to 150 together with a few sea lions in the mix, in front of Powell River yesterday. They foraged for food and travelled between Grief Point and Rebecca Rocks. Looking like they were moving Nothwest with purpose I thought that by the time I would get out there, they'd be gone. So I went back to work in my office. I was so surprised to find they stayed around still back and forth, so I headed out on the water with them.

Of course they were frolicking amongst themselves and with the sea lions, as they tend to do, in between feeding. But feeding was their main purpose. I left them close to the Texada shoreline headed towards VanAnda.

Jan 23 - 11am till 3pm 100 to 150 Pacific White Sided Dolphins with som sea lions foraging between Grief Point, Westview Ferry Terminal and Rebecca Rocks towards VanAnda on Texada Island

Jan 21 and Jan 22 - No sightings to report

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jan 13 to Jan 20 Plus late Orca Report

Last evening I received information about Killer Whale (Orca) sightings from the Comox to Powell River Ferry on Jan 11 th. There were a fair number of them, possibly 12, Orca on both sides of the ferry. They were spread out and just slowly milling about mid-strait between Comox and Rebecca Rocks out in front of Powell River.

Just a reminder to please let me know about these sightings earlier. I know many of you think that I already heard about it, but with everyone thinking I already heard, I'm actually not hearing about it till late. It's also easier to log the information when it's fresh in your mind as to species, number of animals, time of day, location and direction of travel.

Unfortunately there have been no other sightings to report covering Jan 13 to Jan 20 other than the many sea lions that were in the area making quite a racket on the breakwater by the Powell River Mill. The majority were California sea lions. Their barks could be heard all over town at times. They suddenly have all departed with some reports of them southbound and by Stillwater. Steller Sea Lions around 100 of them, have been reported back on the rocks of Vivian Island just West of Harwood.

My next presentation about Whales and Dolphins and Porpoises in our area is Saturday, January 22nd 10am till noon. Since this is for the Malaspina Young Naturalists Club of Powell River any child and parent is welcome. Admission is through donation. Location: the Trinity Hall, United Church located at the corner of Michigan and Duncan Avenues in Powell River.
Look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jan 9 to Jan 12 Sightings

Jan 10 to 12 - Been looking for those Orca, but I'm afraid there's no reported sightings for this period. There are numerous sea lions around with a fair number of them California Sea Lions. The hummingbirds are happy that the snow is gone and it's a bit warmer now. I was surprised to see how much they could puff themselves up in the cold.

Jan 9 - While doing the monthly shore bird species and their numbers count, our group noticed eight blows which looked like Orca just North of VanAnda on Texada Island around 2pm. They traveled tight to the Texada shoreline up to Blubber Bay, where the ferry goes in. Lost sight of them around 4pm.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sightings Jan 3 to Jan 8

Good news this morning (Jan 8)! There are around 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins out in front of Powell River. I last saw them at 9am heading towards Willingdon Beach on the North side of the ferry terminal.

With limited time to watch for any animals and no other reports about sightings, things have been pretty slow. Many sea lions have been spotted cavorting and playing in the area. Guess they're happy the Transient Orca have gone for now.

I did receive a late report on the 4th of around 20 Dolphins that were seen out in front of Powell River Townsite area northbound on Jan 2nd at around noon. These numbers added to the other sightings of Jan 2nd would indicate that the group that was in the Sechelt Inlet area have moved back up this way.

Unfortunately no other sightings to report of whales, dolphins or porpoises for Jan 4 to Jan 7th. If you see anything, I would love to hear from you: Email to Susan

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year Dolphins - Sighting Jan 1 and 2

Welcome to 2011

Bringing in the New Year with calm sunny days is a real bonus. Although cold outside, the sunshine bolsters spirits. By the way, for those interested, I still have 5 Hummingbirds feeding regularly at the feeder.

Jan 2: I received information about 40 to 50 Pacific White Sided Dolphins headed towards Desolation Sound from right in front of Bliss Landing, just above Lund, at around 8:30am  Another 10 Dolphins were spotted on the other side of Thulin Passage about 5 minutes later, also heading in the same direction.

Jan 1: Once yesterday's Transient (meat eating) Orca left the area, the sea lions felt safe enough to return and play in the waters. No whales or dolphins sighted today.