Have You Seen Any of These?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dalls, White Sided Dolphins and Humpack Whale

To start I'd like to mention that I did test the link from yesterday to the nautical charts from NOAA and they only work for US waters. The rest are as blotchy and blocky as they've always been, I do not know if downloading it would interfere with the actual CHS charts for Canadian waters, so I would not recommend it for anyone using their computer for charting our Canadian waters. I put it on a system that is not used for actual chart work.

As for today, there were Dalls Porpoises, Pacific White Sided Dolphins and a Humpback. The Orca have departed again. These whales over the past while have been in the area for a couple of days and then disappeared for a couple of days only to reappear. There are whales around, but they are very good at hiding for a couple of days at a time.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 31:
5:45 pm A radio call from the ferry, Powell River Queen, to Aaron of Campbell River Whale Watching gave a heads up of a Humpback Whale mid-channel between April Point and Painter's Lodge. The whale was headed Northward.

May 31:
Hi Susan. I had 2 harbour porpoise by Elk Bay at 415 pm. Other than that just the Lags (short for Lagenhorynchus obliquidens the Latin name for Pacific White Sided Dolphins - SM). And 150 sea lions at Mitlenatch and a few were Californians. Cheers. Garry (Aaron counted around a dozen California Sea Lions - when you have that many, it's a bunch - SM)

May 31:
2:45 pm During one of my scans I spotted 5 or 6 Dalls Porpoises looking like they were foraging just off Westview, Powell River heading towards the mill area. About and hour or two later saw what I believe were the same Dalls off the N. end of Texada slowly heading into Georgia Strait.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 31:
2:15 pm Call came in from Garry, Aboriginal Journeys about Approx. 20 or so Pacific White Sided Dolphins at the N. end of Mitlenatch Island. They were slowly zig zagging in a foraging / feeding pattern.

May 31:
11 am First overheard on the radio from unknown sources that there were very playful Dalls Porpoises just by Hole in the Wall. A little later, heard Fog Horn Jeff, Painter's Lodge saying that there was a large group of Dalls that were there and putting on a lovely show.

In other Reports:
Thanks to Jared Towers for assistance with the IDs on yesterday's Transient Orca - a few more nicks than what we have in out photo ID books. SM:
From his photos I recognize T124A2 and T124C. The juvenile may be T124A3 and the other animal with the nick may be T124C again. T124C's dorsal fin has a bit of a bend so s/he can look a bit different depending on the angle.  Jared

Two more photos taken May 30th by Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys

Above Photos of Transient Orca May 30th from Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys

And from Farther South:
May 31
Wildlife galore today!  We departed Friday Harbor with a northbound heading up into the waters of Canada, with a few gray harbor porpoises traveling with us and a silver harbor seal peering at us from the ocean. Off in the distance, we spotted five vessels off Saltspring Island, Canada.  They appeared to be observing some transient killer whales.  As our boat--the Sea Lion--got closer, we were able to identify a large male orca with a hooked or oddly notched dorsal fin.  He was later identified as T87.  Other vessels identified his companions as "the T90s," which would be T90 and a calf from 2005, T90B.  We did notice a calf with the group of five and thought that because of its small size it may be a calf younger than T90B. 
The pod continued to zigzag around the boats and, at times, under the boats appearing on the other side of us after four to five minute down times. Word from another vessel told us that close by there was a dead harbor seal with Bald Eagles foraging on its carcass.  Off we went!  Not too far from the live safe warming seals, we found the dead one.  At least four eagles were spotted in the trees and one bald eagle was at the carcass ripping shreds of meat off it!  No dead sea creature is wasted out here. Along our final approach to Friday Harbor, we saw two more harbor porpoises and even in the harbor by our slip we saw another harbor seal.  Yup, another piece of potential transient orca food, but this one safely swimming about the harbor, foraging for its own meal.  
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris, San Juan Island, WA
Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network 

May 31
We  stumbled on Transient orcas today to the south of Saltspring Island and then followed them into the Saanich Inlet, just off of Piers Island.  They were somewhat elusive and kept all the boats guessing.
Bill Freedman Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Monday, May 30, 2011

Orca, Humpbacks (or Grays), Dalls Porpoises, and Dolphins

May 30:
Another active day today ending with great lighting and a group of Pacific White Sided Dolphins I can still barely see heading West out between Rebecca Rocks and Harwood Island in front of Powell River.
Listening to the marine radio today I was quite envious of the whale watchers. The Transient (meat eating) Orca put on quite the show (I'm waiting for some photos), as well as being very vocal. They were a bit too far for me to get to. I also had to fix my computer - done and working so that I can properly deal with photos again. I would have gone out if the whales were closer though.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 30:
6 pm received a call from Steve G., my eagle eye neighbour, that he spotted some Pacific White Sided Dolphins between Texada and Powell River. There were between 20 to 30 of them performing some of their noteworthy leaps as they zig zagged in a foraging / feeding pattern slowly working their way North-West. Around 7:30 pm I lost them as they changed direction, yet again, and blended into the shadows close to Harwood Island shoreline. I picked them up again, as noted above, slowly heading into Georgia Strait between Rebecca Rock and Harwood Island. It's now 8:30 pm and can no longer spot them.
Initial report from Steve G.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 30:
5:30 pm Radio call from a boater (unknown if pleasure or commercial) that there were 2 Whales by Quathiaski Cove, across from Campbell River on Quadra Island. It sounded like he said Orca, but he may have been talking about the earlier reports of either Humpbacks or Gray Whales. Thanks to Aaron, Eagle Master for the relay since I could hear the boat, but he couldn't hear me.

May 30:
5:30 pm The 5 Transient Orca had just made a Dalls Porpoise kill by Frederick Arm, by Raza Island. See report farther down also.
Aaron, Eagle Master, out of Sonora Lodge (I apologize if I have any names incorrect)

May 30:
5 pm A number of Dalls Porpoises were putting on quite a show at the top of Raza Island.
Broken transmission picked up on the radio.

Three Photos courtesy of Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys May 30th

Three Photos courtesy of Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys May 30th
(I believe one of the whales is T125 - unconfirmed - SM)

The rest of the reports are a bit mixed with times, due to various calls and transmissions over the radio during the day.

May 30:
11:20 am 2 Humpback Whales were reported by Campbell River, Willow Point "in front of Rona" - (sorry, that's a direct quote, but I can't help but think that maybe they were hoping to do some shopping. It gives quite the picture... SM) Possibly Mom and Calf in very shallow water. Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching was in around 13 feet of water and they were in shallower - tight in to shore. (I hope that he managed some photos SM) Since they were so tight into shore, there is a chance that they were Gray Whales. Aaron couldn't confirm either way when we last spoke at around 12:30 pm when he left them to find the Transient Orca.

May 30:
11:15 am 5 Orca spotted by Subtle Islands near Whaletown, Cortez Island heading North towards Channel Islands - back and forth changing directions. First reported by Jeff, Fog Horn, running a tour out of Painter's Lodge. It wasn't long after that Garry, Aboriginal Journeys picked the Transients up heading towards Coulter Bay. Garry was with them for quite a while with his tour as they tail slapped, breached and took a seal or Sea Lion. The Orca slowly worked their way up to Raza Island and were still heading in a Northerly direction at 4 pm when Garry left them. See the rest of the evening report above.

May 30:
10 am Around 10 playful Dalls Porpoises were bow and wake riding with Jeff, Painter's Lodge by Chatham Point at the entrance to Johnstone Strait.

The report from farther South:
L pod made it down to the Salish Sea on Sunday, porpoising through from the north, heading down San Juan Island then apparently west out the Strait of Juan de Fuca - darn! But we received many great reports and photos from their quick trip through the area. Also more Transient reports, interestingly trading places with L pod throughout the weekend - Ts down here while Ls were up north, then the Ts appearing up north when L pod was down here! Also a Gray whale, and Dall's porpoise and Pacific White-sided dolphins in BC, and harbor porpoise in Admiralty Inlet.
Lastly, here is a cool nautical map/tool that not only has an easy zoom and shows EVERY little point, bay, cove, rock, etc. (to help you see where all these sightings are), but also has an animation button to show you animated currents and tides - try it, you'll like it!
(I have not yet tried it, and do not know if it might interefere with any CHS chart software. I will try it anyone interested in my findings can email me Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC)

Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 29
At 13:45 May 29 2011  there was a single average sized Grey whale in Saanich Inlet traveling north. A more precise location would be about half way between Goldstream Park and Bushart Gardens. I observed about 8 surfacings. I took some poor quality video that is only good enough to prove it is a Grey whale and not a Humpback whale.
From Vincenz Eberl Submitted by: Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Back to Transient Orca today and Dalls Porpoises

The big excitement yesterday were the Southern Resident Orca in our area - not a common sight. They were last seen still Southbound aroun 6 pm off Cape Mudge, but nothing today. Today, we're back to Transient Orca with a couple Dalls Porpises keeping out of their way. Photos for yesterday's Southern Resident Orca below.
Susan Mackay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 29:

4:30 pm overheard a report of Orca by Francisco Point, by Campbell River heading South. Both AJ and Jack found them shortly after the report. Jack identified T20, T21 pluse 3 others including a young calf for a total count of 5 Transient Orca. He left them crossing Whidbey Shoals headed North around 5:45 pm

May 29:
2 Dalls Porpoises between 3:45 and 4 pm just South of Kanish Bay in Discovery Channel. From AJ.

Photos of L26, L86, L92 below courtesy of 
Jack Springer, Campbell River Whale Whatching May 28, 2011
Nice Spy Hop! That's Garry's boat back there.

Above three photos from Jack Springer, Campbell River Whale Watching
next two from Garry, Aboriginal Journeys

Aslo, I received a couple of photos from 
Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys also May 28, 2011

Start of another nice Spy Hop!

I will have to include today's Transient photos in rommorow'a Blog update since the feed is limited to size and I'm hitting the maximum as it is.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Southern Resident Orca, Dolphins and Porpoises

The morning started with white caps in the Strait, so spotting anything was difficult. The tours out of Campbell River headed up inlets and into Johnstone Strait in search of the unidentified Orca from late yesterday or the reported Eastbound Orca from 3 am or so this morning. The big surprise was that they found Southern Resident (fish eating) Orca from "L" pod....confirmation of IDs to follow.
I apologize for lack of photos at present, I had a computer die on me and am trying to work with images on a different, very slow, system...not going great. I will post them by tomorrow's update for sure.
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC

May 28:
1:30 pm 12 Orca including 2 very new looking calves were slowly working their way South by Elk Bay just around Seymour Narrows. Although they were quiet, with open saddle patches they were identified as Southern Resident Orca possibly from L Pod - but who? Photos to follow. They stayed nicely grouped, with a lovely spy hop or two as they very slowly got down by Painters Lodge around 5 pm.
from both
Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching and
Garry, Aboriginal Journeys

May 28:
Around 1 pm 6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were bow and wake riding with Jack's tour by Howe Island. This just before finding the Orca.

May 28:
6 Dalls Porpoises were foraging in Bute Inlet this morning.
Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching

May 28
We wanted to let you know we had L-pod pass through here late last night! They went South in Blackney Pass around 0130 and vocalized as they headed into Johnstone Strait. They vocalized for a few hours in Robson Bight before they headed east in Johnstone Strait around 0345. Their vocals were very interesting to listen to! We sent a few clips to John Ford and he confirmed that it was L-pod. So they might be heading down your way!! (you can listen in to OrcaLab's hydrophones at Orca Live).
Then at 5:13 pm: They were amazing to listen to this morning...what a wonderful way to wake-up!!! Sounds like they might be going past Campbell River right about now.Have a wonderful day!
Marie and Leah and the Orcalab Crew, Hanson Island, B.C.
Submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 28
Awesome day along the Galiano shoreline today! 5 Transients rolling and playing for the whole hour we were there. I wasn't able to ID them yet, I don't think I have seen that group before so if anyone knows who they are, let me know. Here are a few pics (see photo below). The large female in the first picture has an interesting saddle patch for a T, seems to have a faint black stripe in it.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
Submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 28 
After an hour of solid travel, several sea birds, numerous islands and a swimming harbor seal, we edged up to East point off Saturna Island.  And there they were: a pod of transient orcas!
As we approached the area, we heard through the vessel radio grapevine that the pod may have made a recent Steller sea lion kill. When we got to the scene, the whales were zig-zagging and milling about; no obvious foraging activity was seen. While observing the pod, we noticed a very large adult male dorsal fin that had significant lean to the left and was very curved for a male. The other individuals in the pod appeared to be females and juveniles. Later, another vessel identified one of the orcas as T18.
After ten minutes or so, the pod started traveling faster towards the south, moving more erratically and then thrashing about. The hunt was on!  And it looked like another Steller sea lion was the target.  We saw the pod of four orcas thrashing about, throwing their bloody red tasty morsel in the air.  At one point, it looked like the sea lion had gotten away and it made some headway with about forty feet of distance from the whales.  But then the transients caught up to their meal and continued thrashing and tossing it around.  Eventually, the male and a second orca split off from the other two, leaving the latter to contend with the sea lion.  Time was running out for our whale watch and we began making our way back to Friday Harbor. All in all, quite an exciting day.  Seeing transient orca whales feed is never a boring event, especially with the thrashing, breaching and tossing of a bleeding sea lion in the air!
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris, San Juan Island, WA
 Submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 28
A dead grey whale was reported in Becher Bay (Metchosin side) this morning. Cara Lachmuth from Straitwatch has located it at 48 19.427N, 123 36.132W. It is very much tucked into the Bay near Village Islands and the IR, although still afloat.
The carcass is belly up, skin sloughing and "falling apart". Cara is fairly certain it is a grey whale but says it's hard to tell due to level of decomposition. She will provide photos later today hopefully. I have asked Cara to collect a skin sample while she's on scene.
Based on condition, it is possible this is the same whale reported in Juan De Fuca on the US side further east last weekend and again earlier this week.
Lisa Spaven, Marine Mammal Response Biologist,Fisheries and Oceans Canada
forwarded to us by Jessie Huggins, Cascadia Research, Olympia, WA
Submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Friday, May 27, 2011

Orca, Humpback, Porpoises, Branded Steller Sea Lion, Plus More

At least some Orca are around our area. Since the report came in late, no-one was left out on the water to identify them. The Superpod of Transients were by the US/Canada border yesterday (see reports below) but could have made it back up here. In addition, there were some Dalls Porpoises, a Humpback Whale, and a branded Stellers Sea Lion in the upper Georgia Strait area. A bit farther South, a Gray Whale near Gabriola Island and a Minke Whale with her calf around Victoria / East Point area. Although the waters around Powell River were quiet, there are a lot of marine mammals out there.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 27:
6 pm around 12 Orca were Northbound by Campbell River towards Seymour Narrows.
from Garry, Aboriginal Journeys

May 27:
2:30 pm A couple of Dalls Porpoises were spotted by Turn Island, Johnstone Strait.
from Jen, Campbell River Whale Watching

May 26:
12:40 pm a Humpback Whale was seen doing some tail lobs and splashing close to Cape Mudge. It was headed in a Southerly direction with the tide.
Report over the radio from the vessel Leta

May 26:
Another branded Sea Lion, this time a Stellers, numbered 250 F was spotted in the morning at Mttlenatch Island by AJ. The "F" brand is from Forrester Island Alaska a Steller Sea Lion natal rookery where numerous pups were branded in 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2003.

The five reports below from Orca Network :
May 25
This very overcast day, May 25th, proved to be an exceptional day for sighting wildlife, although we found no Orca. The Ocean Magic 12.15 trip settled for an elusive Minke off Hein Bank accompanied by a couple of harbour seals in tow. It was behaving just like a Minke with long dives and two to three breaths at the surface. 
Marie 'Orca-Magic' Prince of Whales. Victoria BC.

May 26
Kymberlie Devlin reports seeing three gray whales in Saratoga Passage, close to shore near Kayak Point, between Everett and Port Susan, at 11:30 today, May 26.
May 25  
On Maya's Westside Charters in the morning we encountered a gray whale north or Pollier Pass, close to shore along Gabriola Island, heading northwest.
Jeanne Hyde and Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's West Side Charters, San Juan Island, WA 

May 25
On Maya's Westside Charters in the afternoon we headed up Boundary Pass toward East Pt. where transients had been spotted. The 1st group we encountered were 4 whales, which included T19B    (I could see three other whales with him & am assuming his constant companions T18, T19 and T19C, but I didn't get pictures of them for proof of presence.) We left them and headed toward Alden Bank. Just north of Sucia Island we encountered a 2nd group: T124C, T124A, T124A2, T124A3 and T124A4. We continued on and encountered a 3rd group: T100, T100B, T100B1, T100C, T100E, T101, T101A, T101B, T102, T124, T124D, T124E, T124A1, T36, T36B,and T36B1. They changed direction and the 2nd group and the 3rd group joined up heading back in the direction of Pt. Roberts.
On our way home, traveling through Boundary Pass we encountered a 4th groupT137, T137A and T137B.  A grand total of 28 killer whales.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island 
May 25
Another amazing day! We saw 27 Transient Orcas, an amazing number, on our afternoon trip into Boundary Pass and the Strait of Georgia.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Westside charters, San Juan Island, WA
The above 5 reports were submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Whale Updates

May 25:
Hi.  I am not sure how to report a sighting.
I saw a group of 6 to 8 dolphins in front of Beach Gardens at 6:05 pm today.  They were slowly heading south along the mainland coast.  They were swimming in various directions as if they were feeding.

May 25:
4:45 pm around 12 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were very playful as they worked their way North-West in Discovery Passage, by Separation Head.
May 24:
2 pm approximately 30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins in Frederick Arm playing and doing some high speed foraging. The small herring were flying out of the water as the Dolphins picked them off.
May 24:
Some early morning unconfirmed reports of Pacific White Sided Dolphins by Cape Mudge Southbound and by Jimmy Judd Island Northbound as well as some Dalls Porpoises in Bute Inlet.
It was interesting that there were Tufted Puffins in Haro Strait, WA on May 20th. I'm not sure if that is something unusual, I'm used to them being up around the Queen Charlotte Islands. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

The following four submissions are from Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network in the US:
May 23
May 23 around  10:00am, a single gray whale was heading north, leisurely feeding just off Tulalip Shores. Then about 5:00 pm the whale seemed to return, heading south, again leisurely feeding along the shore.  Picnic at Spee-be-dah?
 Jim and Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores, WA
 May 22
At 12:52 pm Victoria Clipper III just left 4 transients, 2 mom and calf pairs, heading west-ish at Middle Bank, Haro Strait. 
Stephanie Raymond, Victoria Clipper

May 22   
On the late afternoon trip on Maya's Westside Charters we encountered T10, T10B, T10C, T26 and T26A as they traveled south in Haro Strait.  We left them west of Kelp Reef traveling southwest
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island, WA 
May 20
May 20th, the 12.15pm Ocean Magic out of Victoria was able to locate two elusive Minke Whales at Hein Bank (Haro Strait) around 1.30pm. They were creating fun for the surface feeding gulls and Alcids. Certainly they were taking long dives and surfacing in different directions all the time. Quite the challenge, but it was nice to see possibly a mother and a youngster.Wonderful to see the sun for a change in these parts and enjoy the wildlife once again.
Marie, Orca-Magic. 'Prince of Whales'. Victoria BC
The above four reports submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Monday, May 23, 2011

Transient Orca Report, Photos and Porpoises

May 23: 
10 am The 8 to 10 Transient Orca were slowly working their way between Powell River and Texada Island - still on a slow roll Southward. So, headed out with neighbour Steve G. to locate them. They did a number of long dives and continued their slow travel Southward in a zig zag pattern. We stayed with them until we were almost across from Smuggler Cove, just above Secret Cove - a long way down from Powell River, and even longer for Jen from Campbell River Whale Watching who arrived on scene with a tour around 2:30 pm. Jen left them around 3:45 pm spread out and still working their way towards the Southern end of Texada.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

Three Photos below are courtesy Steve Grover May 23, 2011

May 23:
On getting back into the harbour in Powell River, a local who had been out fishing told me he had seen a couple of Porpoises around 2 pm that looked black, so the assumption is Dalls Porpoises, by Grant's Reef on the South end of Savary Island. Susan MacKay

May 23:
9 am 6 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were in the Yuculta Rapids area by Jimmy Judd Island.
Relayed over the radio from Aaron (Eagle Master)

May 23:
8:15 am Around 10 Orca spotted by Harwood Island across from Powell River travelling in a Southerly, then Westerly direction.
From Steve G.

May 22:
9 pm 2 Orca were seen in the Surge Narrows area (Beazely Pass). No direction.
Passed on from Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Transient Orca and Dolphins Update

All day long, the same group of Transient Orca which included T019B T018 and T023 were almost down to Powell River. Although I scanned during the day, not a blow, splash or dorsal was spotted off Powell Rive. The closest they got was around Grant's Reef, just South of Sentry Shoal. This morning the Whale Watching boats caught up with them just inside Discovery Channel by Cape Mudge. So they didn't go very far. They did take a couple of Sea Lions close to Mittlenatch Island.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 22:
7 am first report of around 10 Orca by Sentry Shoal thought to be headed Southward.

9 am Discovery Channel by Duncan Bay 5 Orca were reported.
7 Orca reported Southbound close to Cape Mudge around the same time.
These reports from Jack, Campbell River Whale Watching, Jeff "FogHorn" (I believe he's in one of the Oak Bay Hurricane boats), and Garry, Aboriginal Journeys

Jeff picked 5 of them up by the can buoy off Mudge at 9:30 am slowly heading towards Mittlenatch Island down the Strait.
By the time Aaron got out, they were closer to Hernando Island at 11:30 am where they were splashing and being quite active. They continued their very slow movement Southward.
2:20 pm the count was 6 Transients between Mittlenatch and Sentry Shoal slowly aiming towards Rebecca Rocks, just off Powell River. They seemed to stay in that general area with tail lobs, breaches and general splashes after another kill. Garry's was the last whale watching boat to leave them there.

May 21:
The approximately 80 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were reported in Bute Inlet around 7:30 to 8 pm.
From Nick T.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Photos of Whales and Dolphins plus Updates May 21

Today was incredibly quiet after yesterday's excitement of Transient Orcas and Pacific White Sided Dolphins within minutes of each other. It was certainly not through lack of looking by all the whale watching boats out there. There was an unconfirmed report that the Orca went into Desolation Sound last night, and the Dolphins were headed up Johnstone Strait.

May 21:
There was one report of briefly seeing 4 to 6 Dalls Porpoises around 4 pm in Calm Channel just outside Hole in the Wall. The report was relayed over the radio from someone operating the tour boat "Tenacious 3" through AJ who was running a tour boat today rather than water taxi. Sorry - don't have the links for these tour companies for you today. Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 21: 
Hi Susan, I especially like the Blog today! (20th report) Probably because I saw the Orca and Dolphins too!  I was down to the beach below us this afternoon and only saw 1 harbour seal.  The tide was especially low and I was photographing the pitted First Nations rocks and canoe runs still visible.  A man told me that about 12 dolphins passed by headed north at about 3:00pm.  Maybe trying to catch-up with yesterday's group.  We do indeed live in a beautiful part of the world!  Have a great weekend. Steve
Photos below of the Pacific White Sided Dolphins really show just how close they ran to the motor with my boat. I need to mention to everyone that one quick movement, and these animals would have been hurt. I am always very careful around any whales or dolphins.

If you have them wake or bow ride, please be careful not to make any sudden movements or quick changes is speed or direction. These dolphins rode with me for around twenty minutes and I believe they did know the boat and that I was not making any sudden movements.

The three photos below are courtesy of John and Joan Treen who came out on the boat with me:

These Dolphins were playing tag with the skiff - I swear they were touching it at times. At one point there were around 20 of them wake riding from tight to the boat and back.
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

From Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network farther South:
J pod was in Active Pass just outside Victoria, BC on May 19th. and  in Friday Harbour today heading NW.
Bigger news is:
May 21
Marie at Washington State Ferries called at 3:36 to say a ferry captain reported he was surrounded by orcas about a mile east of Turn Island. (I'm assuming this Turn Island is the one just in Johnstone Strait by Chatham Point on the Ferry route up coast - Susan)

I hope to resolve the issue with my photos of the Orca before this goes out tonight - for whatever reason, this computer won't allow me to save them small enough so the blog won't reject sending them out. Susan

Friday, May 20, 2011

Killer Whales - Dolphins and Porpoises May 20

This report is not last to first but covers today. It's in time sequence, so do read on:

What a perfect day to be on the water! Flat calm and sunny....and whales and dolphins and porpoises to boot!

9 am I heard a report of a "couple" of Dalls Porpoises at the bottom of Cape Mudge, Quadra Island - heard over the radio from the other Aaron - sorry, not sure of a link to his web site. No direction or numbers.

At 11 am I received a call from John and Joan T. that we had around 5 Orca out in front of Powell River. Funny, I had just put the binoculars down and never saw a thing! Quickly grabbing cameras and gear, I was off with them to find the whales. Great to get out on the water!

11:30 am Found the approximately 10 Transient (meat eating) Orca between Powell River and Harwood Island. They were doing long dives, anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes, heading Northward in a somewhat zig zag pattern. Dropped the hydrophone, but there were no vocals. Suddenly it appeared that there were between 12 to 16 whales in a couple of groups between Harwood and just south of Atrevida Reef.

12:54 pm One lone Porpoise, which I thought may have been a Dalls Porpoise was very rapidly heading South by Harwood Island. The whales at this point were still heading Northward and were by Atrevida Reef.
As we continued up, another Porpoise, believed to be a Harbour Porpoise, was Southbound also trying to get out of these Transients' way.

1:33 pm Received a call from another regular contributor and neighbour, Steve G. of approximately 12 Pacific White Sided Dolphins at Westview, Powell River, also heading Northward.
A short time later, I received another call from Steve that actually the numbers were more in the neighborhood of 60 Dolphins! This is the first time, in a long time that we've had these numbers around...wonderful, but what about the Transients who eat them?

3 pm The Orca had made their way to Lund and stayed split up into 3 or 4 groups. Some were by the Savary Island dock area, some by Keefer Rock just off Hernando Island, and the main group of 8 to 10 Transient Orca were by Lund aiming towards Major Rock and Baker Pass. I left them shortly after with Jen, Campbell River Whale Watching, and Garry from Aboriginal Journeys to head back towards Powell River, hoping to locate the Dolphins.

320 pm Found the Pacific White Sided Dolphins just arriving at Dinner Rock still heading Northward to Lund. There were closer to 80 of them, slightly spread out, but leaping and wake riding. Since they were heading Northward, I did too. They wake rode all the way back to the line between the Iron Mines and Savary Island when they suddenly broke off. Did they hear the Transients, who by this time were somewhere up closer to Baker Pass and Twin Islands? Jen and Garry both came back to see the Dolphins and I again headed back towards Powell River leaving the animals with them around 4 pm. What a great day...must remember more sunscreen.

I was hoping to include some photos, with some ID's and if I get a chance later tonight, before this goes out to subscribers, I will. But, I will have some tomorrow if I don't make the cut off time tonight.
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Transient Vocals and Other Reports to May 19

Here's a link to some awesome Transient Orca vocalization and video provided by Jen from Campbell River Whale Watching that was recorded on Tuesday, May 17 evening when the whales were just behind Harwood Island, close to Sentry Shoal. Well worth the watch and listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxnJhUOuAQ4

The water was like glass today and around 7 pm I believe I saw some splashes and blows closer to the Vancouver Island side than Powell River. The distance is too great to see any dorsals. I'm hoping someone over there will be able to confirm that it was the whales as they headed Northward. From my vantage point, they disappeared behind Harwood Island.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 18:
Around 2:15 pm 8 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were spotted Southbound from Cape Mudge, Quadra Island. From Gary, Aboriginal Journeys

The balance of the reports that follow are from our friends farther South, submitted by Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 18: Southern Resident Orca - J Pod was around the Whidbey Island area. Around 8 Transient Orca were seen in the San Juan Islands.
May 17: J Pod again:
J pod and BC Ferry, Tswwassen, B.C. May 17, 2011
Photo by Susan Berta, Orca Network

It's been a long drought for whale sightings for us which finally ended today. From our deck in Tsawwassen around 12:45 we saw a small pod of orcas slowly heading north. They were very spread out.
Karoline Cullen, Tsawwassen, B.C.

Humpback Reports in Southern BC:

May 16     
My neighbour across Sansum Narrows on Vancouver Island phoned me at 8PM to say he'd been following 2 Humpback Whales out of Maple Bay and into Burgoyne Bay. They were heading south in Sansum Narrows. Very exciting. This is the first report of the big whales here, although they probably were here before the whaling wiped them out of these waters. Has anyone else reported these 2 whales in BC?
Tamar Griggs, Bold Bluff, Saltspring Island, BC

May 16
Yesterday we followed 2 Humpback Whales from Maple Bay on Vancouver Island to Burgoyne Bay on Saltspring Island, and down Sansum Narrows past Burial Island. They were diving and spouting close together and it looked like there was a smaller one with a bigger one - Mum and baby? Does anyone know? They were moving pretty fast and went all the way into Burgoyne Bay where the Government wharf is and all the "live-aboards" in boats. This is the first sighting of these baleen whales EVER in Sansum Narrows - anyway since I have been here. (Whales may be sneaking by all the time when my neighbours and I are not watching). Are these whales exploring old territory? Are they lost? I believe Sansum Narrows had lots of Humpback Whales long ago before we hunted them to extinction in these waters. I'd love to hear if anyone has any ideas about these magnificent whales. We followed them for about 2 hours - from noon to 2 PM.
Best Wishes,
Tamar Griggs, Bold Bluff, Saltspring Island, B.C.

May 14  I would like to report 2 Beautiful Humpbacks my son and I witnessed on May 14, 2011 at 0945.  They were in Stuart Channel (near Crofton, BC) Chart 3442.  We joined them at Erskine Point (Salt Spring Island) and watched them cross to Grave pt and follow the shore to Sherard pt.  They continued towards the direction of Porlier Pass.  They were calm and serene each time taking 2 -3 breaths then a deep dive with tail fluke rising gracefully before descending.  They appeared to be approximately the same size (adult).  There is no mistake these were Humpback whales.  I've seen thousands of different whales including whale watching guide.  I didn't take pictures as I was video taping them.
Hope this helps,
Sandy Shaw

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Transient Orca Super Pod Returns

The large Super Pod of Transient Killer Whales didn't stay very long at the top of Johnstone Strait! All 30 + Orca returned early this morning and stayed all day. Keep your eyes on the look out - they are around. I kept looking today, but they never came as far as Powell River....but almost. Read below:
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC 
May 17:
5 pm The Orca had spread out a bit withing a triangle from Savary Island, Hernando and Mittlenatch Islands.
4 pm the Whales had made it about two miles South of Sentry Shoal where they let a lone Dalls porpoise get out of their way. They had been zig zagging towards Powell River then towards Miracle Beach on Vancouver Island. The Orca then grouped up with lots of vocalization. Ahh, calm weather, sunshine, whales and listening to them talking too! They slowly started to work their way back towards Mittlenatch.

En route to find the Orca, between the red can buoy and Mittlenatch, 3 Harbour Porpoises were spotted Northbound. Guess the Sea Lions were filling since the whales let them go.
The above three reports from Jack - Campbell River Whale Watching

May 17:
12:30 pm the Orca were spread out in smaller groups from the South end of Quadra Island to Vancouver Island slowly working their way South. By 2:45 pm they had made their way to Mittlenatch Island. The count was back up to the 30 + whales.
May 17:
Good morning Susan
10 Orca heading south at Seymour narrows at 7:30 am this morning.
Talk to you soon

Monday, May 16, 2011

Orca Sightings May 16

For us along the Sunshine Coast, things were certainly quiet today, especially after all the excitement of the huge numbers in the Transient Super Pod.

May 16:
All 30 + Transient Orca were up at Robson Bight around 9 am. They continued in a Westerly direction then around 3 pm they turned East again heading towards Alert Bay, but still up at the top end of Johnstone Strait. These Orca were doing around 15 knots (close to 30 km per hour!) what Aaron had reported the other day.
These reports were noted by Leah and Marie on Orca Live and from Donna of MacKay Whale Watching in Port McNeill

Orca Live had distant calls which could mean they're headed either out the top end of Vancouver Island or, based on their previous movements, probably in a big circle and maybe as far down the Strait as our area.
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Transient Orca Superpods May 15

Another day with even more Transient (meat eating) Killer Whales grouping up. Today's finally tally was Over 30 whales together. Absolutely Amazing! There are still large groups of Transients in Washington State too.

Then there's the debate of the identified whales T20 and T23 that were in two places at once! Many nicks look very similar, but the photos of T23 below show just how difficult getting the correct ID can be.

In other sad news - the rescued Harbour Porpoise at Vancouver Aquarium died today.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC

May 15:
20+ Orca were spotted just above Discovery Passage in Johnstone Strait by Chatham Point at 12:15 pm. By 1:45 pm the count had reached just over 30 Whales that had gone in behind Turn Island and then slowly worked their way up Nodales Channel.
From various radio calls from Whale Watching Tour boats.

May 15:
Last report was a call from Aaron, Campbell River Whale Watching who was with the over 30 Transients as they headed up Frederick Arm. T20 and T21 were two of the whales he identified.

May 14:
Jack and Aaron left with the 20 to 25 Orca by Sonora Island around 7:30 pm.

Following three Photos by Jack Springer, Campbell River Whale Watching 
May 14 by Marina Island around 1 pm

Unidentified whales - possibly T68A or T72


T23 and Friends

Close up of T23 from Jack's photo above.

The next photo is of T23 taken May 12 from Jeanne Hyde in Washington State. 
Jeanne has other great Orca photos on her blog.

These photos were taken a couple of days apart, but reports had them around Friday Harbour, US at 3 pm on the same day (no photo) that they were by Campbell River at 4 pm. Susan MacKay

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Day of Transient Orca - Lots of Them

htWow! The Transient (meat eating) Killer Whales are everywhere - and in large numbers. From the large group cruising the outskirts of Desolation Sound to the one that were in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet the other day making an appearance in the Washington State San Juan Islands. Not many reports of anything else though.
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

May 14:
11 am a tug boat Captain spotted some Orca off in the distance when one breached and made a large splash. By 11:15 am the call was out one the radio that there were around 20 Whales by Marina Island, just off Cortez Island. The reports from various Whale Watching groups out on the water today were constant. It didn't take too long and then, by 2pm the reports were that the Orca, including T10 T10B and T20 (based on reports from farther South it's doubtful that T20 is in two places at once - wonder who's right or did they move that far so quickly?) were zig zagging in three to four distinct groups within a triangle from Marina, Quadra and Read Islands. There were some on a kill by Viner oint at the tip of Read Island. They stayed, spread out in that area until around 4 pm when they headed towards Whale Channel. At this point there was a count of around 25 Orca! By the end of the day, the Campbell River Whale Watching crew left them at 5 pm entering Calm Channel by Rendezvous Islands. What a day - breaching, tail slapping and just lots of whale activity!.

To add to this great day, the seas settled and gave everyone a great whale encounter. I do suspect that these whales are flitting about the inside waters - so keep your eyes open....I've mad it easier on the Sightings Blog to submit a sighting report by email for you.

News from Farther South:
J pod was still in Puget Sound today but rather elusive, and heard and seen heading out of Admiralty tonight.
Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network
May 13 
The Ocean Magic vessel out of Victoria met up with a number of Transients (looked like 7-8)  who appeared to be in a traveling group much of the time, Friday afternoon, May 13th (see photo below). We located them south west of Hein Bank close to 1:15pm. They did zigzag in different directions at times but didn't appear to be hunting. The research vessel out of the Centre for Whale Research kept company with these magnificent Orca. A pair of Tufted Puffins floating on the calm water helped make this a very special day.
Marie, 'Orca-Magic ', Prince of Whales, Victoria BC. Submitted by Orca Network
May 12
5-12-2011 on Maya's Westside Charters in the afternoon, after receiving a call, we headed north and west to the north side of Galiano Island, B.C. where we encountered T20 and T21 heading east at 3:00.  Farther east another boat came across T137, T137A and T137B.  T137C was not present.  Another boat was about 3 miles northwest of our location, returning to Vancouver, and came across several other whales.  We did not see those whales and left the scene at 3:40.  We made a return trip and at 5:35 encountered the same whales.  However, this time many more whales approached from the west and joined the others.  There was quite a lot of above water vocalizing and extraordinary surface action.  The whales present included some of the same whales that were photographed at Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday.  The whales ID'd  on the late encounter were:  T20, T21, T137, T137A, T137B, T100, T100B, T100B1, T100C, T100E, T101, T101A, T101B, T102, T18, T19, T19B, T19C, T23, T23D, T26 and T26A. There was a total of 22 whales identified and possibly one or two more.
Jeanne Hyde , San Juan Island - Submitted by Orca Network
May 12
Today was one of those whales everywhere days. We left dock with no rumours, or even hints as to where to start. We soon got word of a humpback near Porlier Pass, and located it in Trincomali Channel, just south of the pass. This humpback was not exhibiting usual behaviour though. It was surfacing fast, and milling erratically, with just 1 breath per surface sequence and no long, lazy blow. Perhaps it knew what we were about to find out - transient orcas were in the Georgia Strait, and some were near. We headed out of the pass, and slightly south in Georgia Strait for an encounter with T20 and T21. These two individuals are sighted frequently in the area, and just continued on their way south, in typical transient fashion, during our encounter with them. Heading home across the strait, we encountered another 4 individuals - the T101's and T102. This group was also headed south in Georgia Strait. Watching them, we noted how tall T101A's fin is becoming, although still juvenile compared to T102  (see photo below).  As we left them to head for dock at approximately 15:20, we heard that there were yet more transients in Active Pass. Seals,  watch out!   
Joan Lopez, Naturalist, Vancouver Whale Watch - Submitted by Orca Network

Friday, May 13, 2011

Transients and Sea Lion Update May 13

Down in South Harbour, I don't have as good radio reception, especially at low tide behind the high rock breakwater, so couldn't hear if any of the boats found the Orca noted below. I did take the skiff out for a short while to drop the hydrophone and scan the waters - just in case. I never heard or saw anything by Powell River. The whales are still somewhere in the area so keep looking!
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC

May 13:
Between 12 and 1 pm around 3 Orca by Savary Island - Al Wood - Lund Water Taxi

May 13:
Hello Susan.  I just received a text from Lund that states that a pod of orcas is heading south from there towards Powell River.  09:30 a.m. Friday.
William D.

May 13:
9 am 3 to 5 Orca just off of Lund. - Lund Water Taxi Office

May 12: from the US:
More J pod reports from the San Juan Islands and again  in Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound today! Transients in BC, Orcas in Prince William Sound, AK, Gray whales in WA & CA, and porpoise and sea lions.
Also, Saturday May 14th is the Penn Cove Water Festival in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, WA. This year we celebrate our 20th year with a fabulous Orca Wheel design by artist Roger Purdue. The whale wheel was designed by Roger, and six local carvers carved the orcas. The whale wheel is to help us remember the history of the orca captures in Penn Cove, and the threats the orcas face today, and to encourage us to take better care of them.
Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

May 12: Sea Lion Information:
HI Susan -
Re: sea lion brands - we have a table on our stranding network webpage http://www.orcanetwork.org/marinemammals/sealionsightings.html from NOAA that enables you to look up the brand numbers & find out when/where the sea lion was branded - it also gives some info. about the program -
Susan - Orca Network

The link above does not include the "C" branded California Sealions which we had a photo of the other day. This Sea Lion was one of 1000 that were captured at Astoria in the Columbia River between 1997 and 2006. Of the captured pups, they branded 621 of them. The one on Major Rock off Lund was branded C435. Based on the numbers and years of branding, this animal is around 7 to 8 years old. Sea Lions usually live around 20 years, but there are some, usually female that can live longer.
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

May 12:
I asked if anyone had an update on the 20 -25 Transient Orca from the May 10. Responses below:

May 12:
Hey Susan,
As far as I know, no body was out on the water yesterday. The trailing group of Orca were making way South when I left them at about 5pm – Race Point mid- channel. Upon consulting with Aaron and AJ we really think that T20, T10 and T10B were in the mix, they were moving so quickly that it was difficult to get an ID, but you were correct, had to be transient, even by the dorsals – and couldn’t see any distinctive open saddle patch. Fantastic!!! Just wonder where they went. 

I saw the photos of the Orca under the Lions Gate this website has some decent photos.

I think that we are out sometime tomorrow and on Saturday – will be in touch. Thanks for all of your work Susan, it is much appreciated.

May 12:
I was reading the Vancouver Sun this morning and the T's made the front page. On page A3 a short story on them IDed one male as T102 and there was a new born calf (still with its orangish hue) with them... Now we know which ones they were.
I also noticed the photo on page A3 the female (immature male?)  has a notch 1/3 of the way down the back of its dorsal.
B Sue

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transient Photos and Update May 11

Yesterday's report didn't get out to everyone - I'm afraid it may have been my late posting in hopes of having the photos to include with it. Today you should receive both yesterday's and today's postings including AJ's photos, at once. I do apologize for the confusion and the very long subscription report. If you checked the Blog itself, the posting is shown separately.

May 11:
Hi just had a tweet from news1130 radio (around 10ish) that said some orca had made it to Brockton Pt and may have gone into English bay. I don't have any other info thought you might be able to glean a little more.
from Sue B.
(I later found out that they were also Transient Orca - Susan)

Late report from Jamie S. about some Dolphins or Porpoises Northbound by Atrevida Reef last week. No numbers, exact date, or time.

May 10:
J Pod (Southern Resident Orcas) were still in Washington State by the San Juan Islands - from Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Photos By and Courtesy Andrew Jennings (AJ):


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lots of Transient Orca Acrivity May 10

What a busy day! Unfortunately I never got out there, but the Whale watching and Nature tours had a great show in the rain and lumpy Georgia Strait all day today. Read on:
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC

May 10:
7:30 am Coming out of Frederick Arm (just above Desolation Sound) 20 to 25 Orca moving very rapidly Westward. Aaron with Campbell River Whale Watching was out on the water and said he was running at 15 knots to try to keep up with them. Full porpoising out of the water - spectacular sight.

Other whale watching vessels, Foghorn, Eagle Master and Tenacious 3 joined in the whale watching from their locations to be able to track these whales. By 9:30 am the Orca were into Nodales Channel still in a Westerly direction.

I received further updates from Jack during the day, heard bits from Lady Hawk (Jen) and others on the marine radio, as well as AJ later in the day. The Orca split up and spread out. Some zig zagging, some heading Southward toward Seymour Narrows and some staying above the Narrows.

By 11 am some had entered the Narrows and although the debate was "Who are these whales?" the most likely is that they were Transient Orca - but I'm known to be mistaken (too frequently to admit). There was thought of T10 or was it C10? Bottom line nothing definitive other than they weren't the A's or the J's (see other sighting reports).

By 5:15 pm there were 8 to 10 Orca by Maude - basically thay stayed in a small area for a long period of time.

May 10:
Hey Susan,
I sent too many pics to you! It's taking a long time!!! Here are the reports... pics to come I guess...

May 9 1215
Seymour Narrows, South Bound, 5-7 animals

May 9 1530(ish)
Francisco Pt (South end of Quadra Is)
Milling around 500m from the point, 10-12 animals

May 10 1740
Race Pt (Seymour Narrows), South bound, 10ish animals
In other news:
There's a California Sea Lion with a brand (C435) that's been spotted on Major Rock, off of Lund, for the past few days - I am looking into where the brand came from since there are a number of Sea Lions that were branded quite a while ago to monitor their travels. Photo and report from Gordie Coles:

The Harbour Porpoise that Vancouver Aquarium Rehab received a couple of weeks ago is still hanging in there, but hastn't been swimming on it's own yet without the support of the makeshift cradle....will keep you posted.

Today's Report from Orca Network:
J pod reports from Neah Bay yesterday and the San Juan Islands today, some amazing reports and photos of orcas in (Hotham Sound May 1st) BC, likely Transients, Orcas reported off Bainbridge Island tonight, and porpoise and a HUGE radar under tow.
Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network

Please Note: Neither Whales and Dolphins BC nor I personally am affiliated with Campbell River Whale Watching, Orca Network or any other group I might mention from time to time. I just feel that if these people and businesses are taking the time to make sure we have a central sightings forum, they should get credit. They, like anyone who contributes, should be patted on the back for participating.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Click to Contact Me by Email for Sightings, Comments, or just to say hello.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Transient Orca and Dalls Porpoises to May 9

The weather here was absolutely perfect for spotting whales, calm and sunny, but there wasn't a single blow seen from my vantage point. The only item from the immediate Powell River area was hearing the California Sea Lions barking when a tug got too close to their haul-out on the hulks breakwater. My location is approximately 5 KM or 3 Miles away from the Mill, so it's been a surprise to hear them a couple of times recently.
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC

May 9: 
7 Transient (meat eating) Orca were spotted by AJ at Francisco Point by Cape Mudge the South end of Quadra Island at 2:45 pm. He took photos of them "partying" that I hope to be able to post in tomorrow's update.

May 9:
Transient Orca, unconfirmed numbers, spotted in Seymour Narrows around 12 pm. No direction given.

May 9:
Email received this morning:
I am at Bliss Landing. John B has told me about you and sent me your recent postings. We have been watching a pod of five Orcas for the last few weeks. They showed up the Saturday before Easter and have been around every few days since then. The seals in the area are very afraid and come into our docks when they are near. We shot some video of the pod a few days ago which I will try to send today.
Please keep me posted an sightings and I will do the same for you.
Regards Mac

May 8:
May Sea Lions, both California and Stellers on Mittlenatch Island. Apparently putting on a great show. Overheard comments on the marine radio - I believe from Jeff.

May 8:
Around 11 am there were around 6 - 8 Dalls Porposies out close to Cortez Island by Whaletown, where the Cortez to Quadra Island ferry runs. Report from AJ who's keen eye and water taxi runs helps in the spotting of many animals.

And From Farther North-West:
Reports of some Transient at the top end of Johnstone Strait, and from just above Princess Royal Island, some Northern Resident Orca including Springer (A73). Guess they're staying away from all these Transients we have down here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dalls Porpoise and Transient Orca May 7

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there!

May 7:
At 6:15 pm I received a call from John and Joan T. asking if I could see the Orca. Well, I had just set the binoculars back down, because although I thought I saw something, I couldn't find anything. After the call I did locate them. This is why it's so important to have all your eyes out there. There were around 8 or more Orca - assumed to be Transients doing their longer dives heading Southward relatively quickly in front of Westview, Powell River. Some split off towards Texada, but continuing Southward. The other group were closer to the Mainland side and appeared to be on a kill when I lost them behind some trees just before 7 pm that are in my vantage point view. 
Susan MacKay - Whales and Dolphins BC

May 7:
AJ was on the water again today and came across 4 to 6 Dalls Porpoise zipping back and forth foraging in Calm Channel around 10 am. He also saw an additional 10 to 12 Dall's Porpoise around 10:30 once he entered into Bute Inlet. They too were speeding around and did wake ride for a short time.

After speaking to some of the loggers he was water taxiing up Bute Inlet, he learned that they had seen some Orca "a couple of weeks ago" up at the head of the inlet by Orford River chasing Dall's Porpoises....very interesting.

Lots of Sea Lions and birds on Mittlenatch Island, a nature sanctuary in Georgia Strait. One Elephant Seal in Blackney Pass - noted on Orca Live by Leah.

And from our US friends:
Reports from the Salish Sea have been a bit slow the past few days, but we have a few Gray whale reports, Transient and Offshore orca reports from the California and Oregon coasts.
Susan Berta and Howard Garrett, Orca Network