December 2014 Whale Sightings
After an unprecedented visit into Eastsound, Orcas Island
, in the early hours of December 30, 24 hours later in the morning of December 31, J27 was off of Sechelt
, in the central Strait of Georgia. See Southern Resident killer whale tagging. Map courtesy of Robin Baird, Cascadia Research.
4:00 PM - Orcas at Burfoot Park
. We saw between 6-8 orcas
at Burfoot park today! Beautiful, and so close! They seemed to be travelling south towards Olympia. -Kate Parker
playing with birds near Boston Harbor Marina in Olympia
. Headed into Budd Inlet currently. -Peace Corey
Happy New Year's Eve - pod people. WHALES visiting us here in the south Sound. Slowly heading into Budd Inlet. 3-5 of them
. -Kim Merriman
Just saw a group of four off the south end of Harstine
island headed south toward bud inlet. One male. Happy way to end the year! -Tom Yocum
11:40 AM -
Mother and baby sighting. We saw two Orcas out in Nisqually near Tolmie State Park
. Mother and baby. Traveling, feeding. -Julia Sweeney
10:24 - Anderson Island
is reporting 3-4 off Sandy Cove headed South!! -Krissie Carl
Around 4-5 AM on the morning of December 30, J27
and presumably all or most of J pod ventured into the upper reaches of Eastsound, Orcas Island, for the first time in recent history. Later that day, just after 1 pm newborn J50
was discovered about 32 miles away in Swanson Channel. Map courtesy of Robin Baird, Cascadia Research.
The Center for Whale Research has posted a detailed account of their encounter with J pod
, including photos and the discovery of the newborn calf, J50
: Encounter #76.
4:55pm - Single male orca at Prevost Island
. On the ferry from Swartz Bay to Mayne Island
, spotted a single (I think, never saw more than one at a time) male orca just south east of Prevost Island (Canadian Gulf Islands) between the ferry and the island. It looked small to me, but I wouldn't know as this was my first sighting ever! Definitely a male though, based on the very tall dorsal fin. Thanks so much for this website! Recent sightings in the area are what kept me motivated to stay out on the cold deck so long! He came up maybe 10 times and disappeared just as I pulled out my camera and just as my wife joined me! -Jeff Turner
Note: The orca in this sighting was not identified.
My name is Wayne Barnes & am a wildlife photographer in Tofino
. I came across a small pod of 4 Orcas
. It appeared to be 3 adult females with two calves.
Dave Ellifrit and Josh McInnes confirmed the ID on these orcas as Transient orcas T68C's, T68C, C1 and C3
Bob Lyden just posted: I just received a call from Joe in Thompson Cove (south end of Anderson Island
) that there were about Five (5) Orcas
in the Cove probably looking for sea lions between 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM
this morning and they left when some boats arrived. Joe said there was also approx. (4) Sea Lions hugging the shoreline at the same time, and he sees one out there now at 2:00 PM on this afternoon. so this probably is the same pod that has been around Anderson Island for the last seven (7) weeks. -Kelly Burns Keenan
Not sure of pod identification, but seeing 3 or 4 orcas heading north through Tacoma Narrows
. -Steve Finney
movements through the Canadian Gulf Islands the day after he was tagged off Bush Point, Admiralty Inlet, about 1 pm on December 28
. Map courtesy of Robin Baird, Cascadia Research
They continued south slowly down the shore, tail slapping buoys as they went by. I spent an hour watching these orcas
pass very close to shore, a pod I have never seen before. It took me 3 hours to finally catch up to them, and just as I was about to head home and give up, this happened. It was a truly amazing day. -Rachel Haight
Taken at Possession Point Park
, south tip of Whidbey Island. These are the T137s
, thanks to Josh McInnes for the ID. One was tail slapping a buoy. -Rachel Haight
Video by - Since mid-late November the T137s
(mammal eaters) have been documented nearly everyday somewhere in the inland waters of Puget Sound, primarily roaming the inlets deep in the south Sound. Today came word of orcas southbound in Saratoga Passage
in the north Sound. From the bluffs above Mukilteo Lighthouse park we spotted their blows as they neared the Clinton Ferry terminal on Whidbey Island
. This video follows them southbound in Possession Sound until they reach Possession Point where they regrouped became very surface active, as if on a kill. Across on shore was a friend who was gifted with a very close up encounter. The pods approached within 100 feet of shore and she photographed one as it engaged in tail-lobbing a buoy. She was able to get IDable photos of at least one matriline, the others were not ID'd at this time. We followed the pod(s) southbound and ended in Shoreline watching the orcas pass the Kingston ferry terminal minutes before the sun nestled down for the night behind the Olympic Mountains. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
The Victoria Clipper reports seeing 3 orcas in Possession Sound
headed north between Camano Head and Sandy Point
above marina in Langley
. Can see three orcas near Camano side. Lots of splashing. Appear to be eating. Not really moving. -Jennifer Thorn Scanlon
We lost them at the south end of Camano
12 noon -
Two orca just spotted heading south near Langley
. We're at boy and dog park! -Sharon Harper-Peck
Ok they are coming south towards Langley mid channel.
I'm in Langley and see an Orca now passing Elger Bay Camano side
coming towards Langley but Camano side.
or so, saw one in or near Elger Bay
moving fast going towards Langley. I am on my way to Langley. -Marilyn Armbruster
10:am - at Long Point southeast of Coupeville
, we spotted from six to eight Orcas within 150 yards
of the shore line. They appeared around a floating dock and stayed for several minutes...the they proceeded southeast towards Snakelum Point and on south via Sarratoga passage. -Dennis Hauff
9:57 - Orcas in Saratoga passage
! 3 or 4 of them - by Cama Beach
- heading south. -Jill Hein
9:53 am -
Alleged small group of orcas in Saratoga passage
just south of Penn Cove. I didn't see them but the wheelhouse slowed down for a second or two and said they were behind us. I missed them so can't say for sure who or give direction of travel. -Renee Beitzel
Killer whale south bound southwest of Race Rocks
. I spotted a few killer whales (looked like transients) in less than ideal conditions near Race Rocks. Before I could confirm who they were they surfed off to the south and disappeared into the 6 foot seas. -Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
Walking with some friends at the Heron Rocks campground (in western Georgia Strait, between Nanaimo and Campbell River
), with hundreds of Stellers + California sealions on the rocks and in the water, off TOBY Island, there was a SINGLE, YOUNG ORCA
, (2 years old?) swimming back and forth nearby, creating quite some commotion amongst the swimmers. Still, NONE took to the rocks. It all seemed strange to us. Could not detect any white marking on its smallish dorsal fin. -Jan Steen
Update. At park by Keystone ferry dock
. Way off in distance (through binoculars) 4 orcas. Definitely not porpoises. Tall curved dorsals. Probably transients. -Jamie Taylor
watched them from Fort Casey.
.. NOAA is still with them still Northwestish. -Janine Harles
We could see them north-bound from Bush Point
. -Sandy Pollard
Bonnie and I are seeing them spread out, northbound
(midchannel spread to east side) looking south from Fort Casey
. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu
tail slaps and breaches from the northernmost group at Fort Casey
second group of orcas from Fort Casey
. At least five. One large dorsal fin. Coming north. Group is south of noaa boat.
can see blows from Driftwood Island County Park on Whidbey
. Looking across towards Fort Flagler
can see blows on either side of NOAA boat. -Jon Scanlon
we are seeing several just off Bush Point headed north
. -Tom Remsing
About a mile south of Bush Point just after 1 pm
, about 8-10 Resident orcas
foraged as they headed north up Admiralty Inlet. -Photo by Howard Garrett
Seeing spouts just south of Bush Point
. Looks like research boat with them. -Laurie Dunham Kroes
Researchers on the NOAA boat placed a satellite tag on J27 about this time.
Seeing blows between PNP and Picnic Point
park (north of Edmonds). Appear to be headed north. There's some refraction so it's difficult to see them. -Laura Finch
Def on Whidbey side, just seeing blows
from Point No Point
. -Connie Bickerton
We have multiple blows along Double Bluff
fins heading north of PNP
. -Elyse Margaret
Now they turned and are heading south westerly
. Still quite far out as looking from north Edmonds
. They might be going out Admiralty inlet hugging close to Whidbey side.
Huge dorsal fin north east of Point No Point
mid channel between Whidbey. Looks to be heading to Possession Pt.
Small group just east of Point no Point
. White boat still trailing them.
Watching a solo still north bound mid channel due west of our place (south end of Ocean ave) Edmonds
. -Stu Davidson
watching a Pod of Orcas
pass by our place!! From Edmonds
looking west across Puget Sound - with the Kitsap Peninsula (north of Kingston) in the background. - Stu Davidson
I'm on Water St, Edmonds
, and saw them north of Kingston
near 2 white yachts. -Michelle Goll
Look to be heading north
mid channel. Watching from north Edmonds
And several already north of the ferry
. -Kate Stovel
a few angled out towards mid channel but at least two traveling northbound line as if taking east side of Whidbey. But still too soon to say which way they'll choose. Have seen only about 6-8
still very spread out.
eyes on at least 3 females and one bull
very spread out northbound
fastbpace. Mile out from Edmonds Bracketts Landing
. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
I've got at least one due east of Eglon
, appears to be east side of midchannel
Blows visible from Eglon, some look to still be south of Edmonds
. -Connie Bickerton
9:17 - Orcas!
marina beach north bound
. Close to Edmonds side. -Michelle Goll
My good friend and amazing photographer, David Waterworth, took this gorgeous photo of J14- Samish at Point Robinson
, Vashon Island today. A great thanks to Melisa Pinnow for the ID on this one. -Kelly Burns Keenan.
J34 Doublestuf heads south past Point Robinson
, Vashon Island. -David Waterworth
2:50 - All past the Point Robinson. Residents.
rounding Point Robinson
, Vashon. -Judi Withers
They're off Pt. Robinson
now...south of sailboat. -Richard Johnson
Standing at pt Robinson
should be visible looking ne towards Normandy park. Looks like same amount as yesterday. Maybe half a dozen. I left the point and was viewing from tramp harbor. They were not in the harbor. They were straight out from some some weird looking blue statue thing south of Normandy beach, north of Des Moines
. This was standing at portage. -Anna Stuart Olive
they were south of the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry
. I'm guessing they should be passing Point Robinson shortly maybe. Maybe 6 or 7
. spread out, we thought they were all passed but then saw one or two more about 5 minutes later farther back, heading south.
Passing north Vashon now. -Danielle White
Seeing breaching off Vashon heading south
. -Tory Paramore Thomas
11:53 - Off the tip of Burien.
1 mile north of Three tree point
, mid channel? -Jerry Purnell
looking at Vashon ferry lane
from Seahurst park, two orcas south of the ferry heading south
. -Jill M Rotset
We were watching from north of Brace Point
- they are now out of view. The last we saw they were southbound
Passed Brace Point/north end of Vashon, now milling around out from Seahurst/Arroyos
(hard to judge how far south they are)? -Mark Amsden
11:02 - Orcas in front of Loman Beac
h right now. -Sue Irvin
11:08 am -
I just saw two big breaches. I am at Three Tree Point
looking north. It looks like maybe they were a third of the way between the Fauntleroy ferry run. -Tanya Jackson Esparza
Just passing Brace Point
. -Tracy Record
Saw them off Lincoln park
south end. -Jaime Palacios
10:17 AM -
Spotted a pod, at least 4
, heading South from the ferry on the Fauntleroy-Vashon route
. Surfaced close to the ferry, ferry did not stop. -Katelyn Herring
Spotted just off north end of Lincoln park
really close to the west Seattle side heading south. And an eagle in one of the trees in the park, same area. -Krista Larson Billinghurst
Four spotted at Alki
bathhouse heading west. -Andrew Malinak
Group of at least two just north of Alki Point
close to the West Seattle shore!! -Sara Williams
9:30 AM - 3 orcas
headed south off north end of Alki Beach
, 1/4- 1/2 mile from the shore, appear to be feeding. They do not linger on the surface. -Dan Ciske
9:08 - Saw 3-4 Orcas right off Alki Point
just Northeast of the yellow channel marker heading south. -John J Kalinoski
8:18 am -
John Rogstad of WA State Ferries called to relay a report from the ferry Wenatchee on the Seattle/Bainbridge run of about six orcas heading south
in the southbound traffic lane. No further details except the ferry passengers had an exciting morning.
4:15 PM - The Orcas were back in Penn Cove
this evening, between the San de Fuca Pier and Holbrook Rd. Just four dorsal fins
moving quickly and they submerged and never resurfaced in my sight. Two cars must have seen them from the hwy as did the owner of the Pottery store on Hwy 20. who all appeared on Penn Cove Rd within seconds. -Mike Starring
4:00 PM - orcas in Penn Cove
. We saw a small group of 4-6 orcas
, 1 male and 3-4 smaller orcas, at the bottom of Penn Cove yesterday. They were feeding and frolicking and slowly heading out of the cove. -Sue Frosolone
3 pm - Orcas in Penn Cove
! We saw a group of 4 to 5 orcas in Penn Cove
near the mussel rafts, they spent a lot of time underwater and stayed in the same area for about 1 hour. -Garrett Knoll
3 pm -
Ken Balcomb reports seeing orcas off D'Arcy Island
, northeast of Victoria, headed west.
Black n whites foraging off of Eagle Point
!! Yay!!!! -Erin Corra
Our family headed out in the morning from Spencer's Landing, Shoal Bay, north end of Lopez
for a day at Sucia. Before we even picked up speed our son-in-law Bill spotted an orca a ways off to port. (It was a little after 11:00 am.) We crept along for awhile and there turned out to be 2 of them - a male and either a female or juvenile. (the male in the photo below is J26 Mike
. This was the only report of any members of J pod Dec. 26) We were a mile or less north of Humphrey Head at that point. They surfaced several times. The female stayed further away, but the male turned and eventually swam a short distance behind our boat. He had a very tall fin, and it looked wavy along the back edge. He surfaced a couple of time behind and to the side of the boat, (yes, our motor was off,) and then continued on his way and rejoined his partner. They were heading east, What a wonderful start to the day! We were on board Bill & Carolyn McGown's boat the "Andiamo" with granddaughters Lucy and Phoebe. Carolyn took these photos. -Susan and Mike Muckle
I can see them from Seahurst
. Heading north
. -Danielle Johnston
3:25 - Three Tree Point
. Just had 5 Orcas
pass by 3 Tree Point in Burien heading North. One fin was very large and 2 were fairly small. Were only about 20 feet from the tip. -Carole Blakey
Big breaches lots of splashing about now they are trending northward
again at a steady pace hugging Vashon coming up on Dilworth
2:53 p.m. -
once again almost north of the cell tower on Vashon looking from Des Moines marina.
still in same general spot hugging Vashon north of Point Robinson
north of Des Moines marina
pointed south on the Vashon side. -Jamie Grundhauser
Right off Three Tree
. A few breaches and a lot of circling.
They just came right up to the fishing boat and surrounded him. He moved north and is waiting again. These guys seem very curious. -Anna Stuart Olive
Word from Jamie Grundhauser that at least four Ts are right off the beach at Pt. Robinson
, Vashon Island. She's watching them from Des Moines.
Small group of transient orcas
northbound on east side of Vashon Island
. Dilworth next viewpoint. -Amy Carey
Seeing them north off Dash Point from Pt Robinson
. Still way south of the point but heading north
. Half way between two boats. Past Pt Robinson. Vashon side heading north fast. -Anna Stuart Olive
The pod is currently mid channel between. Pt. Robinson and Des Moine
s, You could see them off the Des Moines marina there is a medium sized boat nearby.
3 just passed by the pier at Dash Point. Headed north. -Meghan Davis-Van Horn
1:10 - Orca pod off Dash Point
! Sighted pod of Orcas off Dash Point, Tacoma, heading north into Poverty Bay. -Brennan Phillips.
Near Partridge Point
(Whidbey Island) around 12:35 pm
today - T037s
. It was cold out there, but the water was 'relatively' calm. Found the T037As off Partridge Point, west side of Whidbey this morning. Long dives, patience, but oh so worth it. (all photos cropped.) Oh yes, they were heading in a north-westerly
direction. -Jill Hein
David Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research wrote: It's the T37As. T37A, T37A2, and T37A3
12:52 - 6-8 passed Owens Beach
going North. They are now by a sailboat and smaller boat. -Krissie Carl
Heading east south side of Vashon Island
. -Bill Clogston
from Ben Carlson: Just saw at least four orcas while walking at Owen Beach in Tacoma
. They were headed north-ish
12:26 - Pod of 4 or 5 off Point Defiance
! Moving east into Commencement Bay
. -Josh Newbrough
A friend of mine just spotted some Orcas
, with a young one under the Tacoma Narrows
. They were feeding on a seal and heading north. -Matthew Scheer
11:00 AM -
Saw a pod with at least two mature orcas
, two smaller orcas feeding near Sunnyside Beach then heading north towards the Narrows. 4 at least, maybe five, feeding and traveling. -Nona Faber
11:30 in Tacoma at Titlow Beach
. - Nick Brody
I saw 4 Orcas
today, travelling together. I was on the ferry between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island
, so the sighting was approximately 10:35am
. It looked like they were headed east or southeast
. -Donald Saul
3 Orcas heading northwest up Admiralty Inlet
toward Marrowstone Island about 1030
this morning. -Chris Williamson
Deb Wenthin called to relay a report from Bush Point of orcas heading north
9:04 - 6-8 Orcas northbound Admiralty Inlet around Point No Point
. Looked like T's. Few juveniles and a calf in the mix. -Renee Beitzel
Got to see the transient pod this morning just north of Seattle
. -Carrie Pearson
11:02 AM - 1 Male, 2 Females and a calf
were seen looking out to the Narrows from the 17th green of the Chambers Bay golf course
. -Bruce Murray
3pm - 3 orcas sighted west of spit at Whidbey Shores
(about 7 miles north of Langley). -Gloria Maxwell
4:00 PM -
A wonderful christmas gift. We spotted 5 orcas between the south end of Salt Spring Island and Pat Bay
(Canadian Gulf Islands). They must have been feeding. Lots of activity. We watched them for a good hour. After talking with other people they were in the area for at least 4 hours. Appeared to be feeding. Spyhops, jumping out of water. -Karen Gray
Santa brought me what I asked for, Orcas in Penn Cove
! My first sighting there in the 3 years I've lived on the Cove! Transients
....possibly some hunting behavior, changing direction, moving fast, then slow, birds following, then headed out to Saratoga Passage. One male had sort of a tipped forward dorsal fin. 5-7 in the group
. Yeah, Whales!!!! -Bonnie Gretz
Mark Malleson: Looks like T046's. T046E (the male, born in 2003) is getting big!
They're out of the cove and near the green bouy out in Saratoga in front of Penn Cove
. Appear to be hanging in that area.
I found them! Right by the mussel rafts
. -Rachel Haight
They went from Saratoga passage
past the Coupeville wharf on the far side- now at the mussel rafts headed back past the wharf. At least 2 small, I big- maybe 5 total
Watching them from the wharf in Coupeville
. -Becky Bolte
Ken Balcomb is with a group of Transients off the south end of Lopez Island
10:00 AM -
Spotted 2 orca
swimming 75-100 from the shore of the southernost tip of Key Peninsula
(Sound Puget Sound, near Anderson Island). They breached only twice briefly and them disappeared, but what an amazing sight! -Angela Oakley
What an amazing day spent with J pod
!!! Ken Balcomb, Dave Ellifrit, and I found them headed through Pole Pass
(a 200 ft. wide gap between Crane Island and Orcas Island) of all places. They eventually made their way into San Juan Channel, then Spieden Channel
, and on toward Stuart Island. The orcas were in a very active mood, with TONS of spy hops (mostly from J17
), tail slaps, pec slaps, and general goofing off. Everyone was accounted for except for the J16's
. The water condition, sunny weather, and company couldn't have been more perfect too! Still totally pumped from the encounter! -Melisa Pinnow
Pretty sure we saw the same animals from Pender Island bluffs at 10:30 am
where they appeared to be feeding, I think we counted up to 4 orcas in Swanson Channel
. We watched them from approximately 10:15 am - 10:45 am
, then again at 11:30 am from the ferry dock, when they were traveling in the direction of Active Pass. -Maria Chantelle
members of J pod heading NW toward Speiden Island
Ken Balcomb is with J pod, minus the J16s
. They are milling now off Jones Island
Whales from ferry. Heading west from north end of Upright Channel towards Orcas Landing. 2-3 small groups
spread across channel. Lots of surface activity. -Doug McCutchen
Graham Dewitt on the ferry Elwha called at 9:15 to report 6-12 orcas in Upright Channel, between Lopez and Shaw Islands
, heading west into Harney Channel, between Shaw and Orcas Islands.
Just saw a pod of 3-4 heading north off of Saratoga Passage near Greenbank
. Stunning. You could hear their breath as they surfaced just off of our deck. So awesome!! -Marie Gill
3:15 PM - Orca sighting in the Saratoga Passage.
2 possibly 3 adults and one baby, one very large back fin, spotted at Hidden Beach in the Saratoga Passage. Heading north
. -Mary Horton
My cousin in Canada just texted me they saw 2 orcas
from the BC ferry between Pender and Saltspring Island
. No idea if they were residents or transients. -Jeanette Dorner
10:20 AM - orcas in Penn Cove,
a pod (sorry, don't know how to identify!) at about 10:20
this morning, leisurely traveling northwest around Blower's bluff
and out to the strait. Gorgeous! -Trace Farrell
In Harney Channel between Orcas and Shaw
, I was on the ferry home and we saw orcas
. I thought the ferries probably reported these sightings. It was dusk when they announced there were orcas up ahead. I saw a female and a little one, port side, as we pulled into Shaw
. Others saw what they thought were 2 females and a baby. It was a little after 5 and I could barely see. Thought maybe there was a young transient I hadn't heard of. -Susan Oseth
Our friends that own the Marina, Fair Harbor
, said their were Orcas
down here last Tuesday morning. They were across from us at Rocky Bay and then went north toward Allyn (north end of Case Inlet
) and then back again, and headed out around Anderson Island
. There were 5ish smaller ones and another set of a large and small. -Margot Ladd
Ken Balcomb relayed a report that K pod was seen heading west about 4 mi south of Constance Bank
(south of Victoria).
Encountered K pod
way out between Port Angeles and Race Rocks
today!! Saw the K12's, K14's, and K22's
. No sign of the K13's, K16's, or K21, but they could have been there. The orcas were very spread out and generally headed West. -Melisa Pinnow
They're heading past Anderson Island
. East side. South of McNeil.
Message to me from Bob on Anderson Island
. "Whales I sighted heading South just north of the Riviera Marina on the East side of Anderson Island - A small boat with an outboard and a dog are following the Whales. -Kim Merriman
Just spotted a group of at least four orcas south of McNeil Island
. They were headed east while the Pierce Co. Ferry sailed west. -Ann Dasch
1:52pm - Transients currently on North side of Mcneil Island.
Could be seen from Chambers Bay with binos maybe. -Travis Harris
Maia of WA State Ferries relayed a report of 12+ orcas
, not identified, between Port Townsend and Keystone
crossing the ferry lane heading north
The Clipper reports orcas off Lagoon Point
, milling and foraging. -Howard Garrett
Victoria Clipper II reports a large group of orcas
heading north from Bush Point at 8:30 am
. -Stephanie Raymond
At least 5 orcas in Rich Passage
just now. Heading south
between Fort Ward Park on Bainbridge and Manchester State Park on the Kitsap. -Lisa Carry
11:58am - Orcas in Sinclair Inlet
heading back towards Seattle. -Joshua Goss
Dyes inlet, at least 4 orca whales
, two are very small. -Cathi Hunter
There were 5 or 6 orcas in Dyes Inlet around 9am
! -Nikki Ogden
It was a very interesting audio encounter
last night. Port Townsend HPs and repetitive call
. It began at least at 5:30pm
and possibly before - a repetitive call. The repetitive call came in 'groups' - several, spaced out, and then nothing and then repeated again. The repetitive call and then finally distant J pod calls - which were less often - continued for hours. At one point I thought I might have heard a K Pod call or two
but I couldn't be sure. The rest I believe were J Pod
. But who knows who the 'caller' was and what, if any, significance did that call have. At 9:14pm the last sequence of repetitive calls occurred
. After that there were more J pod calls in the distance and the loudest, though still not loud, J Pod calls came at 10:52pm
. There were just a couple. I didn't hear anything after that. I posted clips of the repetitive call to my blog. -Jeanne Hyde, Blog: Whale of A Purpose
21:24 - hearing Ks!
-Alisa Lemire Brooks
Faint but I hear them too! -Michelle Goll
Still hearing them at 9:15.
YAY. I just heard "them"
, too. -Kim Merriman
7:02 - Definitely some Js.
Hearing them now at 7:00
. Faint but clear. -Kippi Waters
10:25 pm -
four hours after first hearing them, STILL hearing them
in between ship and water noise. Hope they keep moving this slow, and show up off Bush Pt
. tomorrow morning : )
8:45 pm - hearing calls again on the Port Townsend hydrophone!
pretty sure I'm hearing calls on the Port Townsend hydrophone
. -Susan Berta
11:50AM - 12:20PM - 6-7 Orca
just north of West Bay Marina in Budd Inlet
. One very large, one very small, the rest of varying medium size. One very large dorsal fin. When first sighted and for the next several minutes they seem to be frolicking/playing. I didn't notice any feeding activity even though they were close to log booms holding harbor seals. Photos posted here: https://picasaweb.google.com/clamalot/OrcaPlay. -Mike Woodall
Man has very close encounter with orcas off Anderson Island. Amazing video from William Chapman.
Orcas in Tacoma Narrows. 9 orcas
seen by our group doing a Christmas bird count. Seen just south of Tacoma narrows bridge. One group of 5 and one group of 4
. Breaching and playing. One tiny one with them. Then diving for long periods then swimming in formation. -Michael Charest
T136B and her calf south of Tacoma Narrows
. -Michael Charest
As of about 2:00
, they had left the Budd/Eld inlet
area. They headed northwest out toward Hunter Point
and Steamboat Island. Maybe headed to Totten Inlet???? -Kim Merriman
We saw about 6 of them from Boston Harbor at about 1:45
, they were moving pretty fast towards the Nisqually Reach. -Micki Pacific
They are headed to Boston harbor
marina area now.
Watching from Burfoot, they are on the Cooper point side. -Devin Ganwich
They are heading toward Boston Harbor
They are north of Burfoot
now, still traveling north
They are almost even with Burfoot
now, still moving north on west side of Budd
Seeing blows south of Burfoot
, on the west side of Budd Inlet
. They are heading north, at the moment. -Gayle Swigart
I was out there sailing in good strong wind around 1:15 pm
and saw four (?) on the Cooper point side heading north
. A tugboat with barge came into the inlet and they seemed to take off out Dana Passage. If anybody got pictures with a sailboat hauling ass in the background, it was me. Thrilling! -Sky Myers
Just spotted some Orcas in front of Gull Harbor (in Budd Inlet)
. Too far away to tell how many or in what direction they are headed. -Caty Whiteford
Ken Balcomb just called in to report the Southern Resident orcas
that came into Admiralty Inlet yesterday are now off Dungeness heading west
My other half is up by Steilicoom and McNeil Island
... says whales
are around there now! -Donna Hayward
I was on the 12:30
today, and the ferry crew mentioned the orcas
had already headed north earlier in the day. -Belen Bilgic Schneider, Anderson Islanders
Off Boston Harbor Marina at 8:30am
, they moved quickly down Dana Passage and north into Case Inlet
, was the last I saw them. T137A, son of T137, born in 2002. -Chris Hamilton
10:00 a.m. - Three orcas just passing Johnson Pt.
heading toward Nisqually. -Joan Ahre
8:30 a.m. 5+ orcas in South Puget Sound, Budd Inlet
(at Boston Harbor Marina). Heading north through Dana Passage. -Kim Merriman
Orcas at Anderson!
WARNING: inappropriate words are used (the s-word) we are sorry but we were scared.
My buddies and I were crabbing off of the west coast of Anderson Island
and even though we didn't really catch anything, we got to see the pod of orcas
everyone has been talking about! We were in a little aluminum rowboat and we think that the sound of the rope being pulled along the side of the boat is what attracted the babies because right after we pulled up the pot the pod headed right for us. Most of the fun from this video comes from how scared we (really just me) were so some profanity is used. However feel free to laugh at how I respond to a scary situation like this (I yell run even though we are in a rowboat) and enjoy the beautiful orcas at the beautiful Anderson Island!
Michael Niccum, Eugene Dight, Steven Sloan, Anderson Islanders
They are mid point of Admiralty Inlet
looking west from North Edmonds.
I swear I saw something fly up in the air amongst the dorsal fins and blows.. Maybe a harbor porpoise ?! Looks like the group is heading south more toward Pt no Pt
Seeing lots of blows and a couple breaches mid channel north of Pt no Pt
.. Watching from north Edmonds. -Stu Davidson
Found more. Definitely heading east near Possession Point
I believe I see a group in Useless Bay
, faaaaaar away. Then, I spotted another orca, mid channel, a ways out, but heading east but lost track of that one. Trying to find more... -Rachel Haight
3 pm -
Too far away for us to get IDs - there are 3 or 4 adult males, at least 20 - 25 orcas
- so Residents for sure.
2:55 pm -
seeing them east of the green marker between S Whidbey and Point No Point
- saw one NE of the buoy heading south, and another SE of the buoy heading north - foraging? - Susan Berta
I just spotted first whale heading south
. -Dianne Dee Iverson
watching them in the distance from Maxwelton towards PNP
. -Wendy Berta Sines
leaders past Point No Point heading south
east lost them in the Possession triangle so not sure if they headed south towards Kingston or turning east around the south end of Whidbey. More headed towards PNP, closer to mid channel.
finding more of them, spread out between Useless bay and Foulweather Bluff
. Still heading south mid channel
At Point no Point with Elyse, so far the furthest south are nearing PNP
still headed south
. -Connie Bickerton
ID'd in photos by Connie Bickerto: L55 Nugget, K20 Spock, J19 Shachi.
Had a great view of the SRKW about 2:15 off the beach at PNP
. Thanks for the heads up Orcanetwork and Center for Whale Research! Saw some stunning breaches, whales completely porpoising out of the water and a major adrenaline rush as they swam by and tail lobbed and seemed to change direction a few times as if foraging! My photos are blurry ...oh my eyes! I must share it was a most wonderful sight to see them again down here. I hope mother earth can feed them down here. Many blessings to our friends on the shores. I feel so much happier after todays encounter. -Elyse Margaret
Leaders passing Hansville at 1:30
- trailers off entrance to Hood Canal. 20 - 25 at least with at least 3 adult males
. Seem to be moving fast continuing toward Pt No Point and Puget Sound.
seeing some down near Skunk Bay, possibly as far as Hansville, a LOT of orcas out there - YAY!!!
1 pm - ORCAS just south of Bush Pt.heading south
at a good pace. LOTS of them, looks like Residents! -Susan Berta
I chatted with 3 gentleman who had encountered them while pulling crab traps in a rowboat off the west side of the island. They had a video of an orca bumping the boat
, swimming past/under them twice while turning and looking at them. It was quite the close encounter! I will try to connect them to Kim, since it would be a great video for identity confirmation, but it sounds like it was the T137s. -Belen Bilgic Schneider, Anderson Islanders
From KIRO TV: Wednesday morning two scuba divers shot video of a gray whale in the South Sound
. They spotted it just feet off the shore of Redondo Beach
(between Federal Way and Des Moines, southern Puget Sound).
It is not unusual for Gray whales to be seen in Puget Sound during the Gray whale migration seasons. We often hear about wandering Gray whales who don't know where the food is (unlike the 10 - 12 Northern Puget Sound Gray whales that arrive to Whidbey Island and Possession Sound each spring to feast on ghost shrimp). These wandering Grays are typically whales who are not in good health, and often end up dying somewhere in Puget Sound.
11:45 am - 5 or 6 orcas were reported in Colvos Passage
, headed west from mid-channel toward Olalla Bay, by Kathryn Rice.
Orcas at Prospect Point - At least 7 orcas were southbound
near the western shoreline of Colvos Passage at 11:30AM
. -Phillip Wilson
Jeanne Hyde recorded some amazing vocalizations of J, K & L Pods
early Sunday morning
Ken Balcomb relayed reports that orcas were seen heading north past Thieves Bay, BC
, and possibly through Active Pass, later that morning.
Saw a small pod of transients from the beach at Kopachuck state park
this afternoon. -Alex Abel
They are right off Kopachuck state park
right now!! -Alexa Leasure Shanafelt
1:41pm - 4-5 Orcas at Kopachuck
!!! :) -Claire Peterson
Was at Purdy Spit
. Could see them waaaay out, possibly near Camp Seymour. Am at Kopachuck now. No sign of them. -Mary McTraveler
Could just make out spouts
on the horizon from Purdy
. -Charles Vendley
10 AM - Orcas reported in mid-Carr Inlet
this morning, heading toward Purdy. -Mary Bush.
12 noon - Two humpbacks
feeding in the sunshine of Georgia Strait off of the entrance to Active Pass
. Seen from the Queen of Nanaimo. -Ian Pirie
There were so many people on the bridge and walking the beach at Chambers Bay
. My 10 year old son & I saw them w/ our binoculars. What a cool memory. It was our lucky day! We've been whale watching the past 3 weeks. It was so exciting to see them right off shore and right across the street from where we live. -Nancyann Boyle
They put on a heck of a show between Chambers Bay
and the houses on the tracks to the N. No one was watching at first but soon a crowd gathered in the back yards and from CB. At first I thought they might be hunting something but it looked more like play. Lots of white water and them circling, spouting and splashing. I was watching TV and spotted the spraying water out of the corner of my eye. My home sits about 180 feet above the beach on the east side of Fox Island and close to the steep bluff. They were straight across from my house about 1/2 mile away. I-phone cam was useless and my big camera had a dead battery! I watched them for about 30 minutes as they played and drifted N with the current right near the houses to the N of CB. Once people started to gather and watch they changed their behavior and settled down. The big male circled to the outside in deeper water keeping watch mostly but he could not resist to get in on some of the play for a minute or two and then went back to standing watch. They rested a bit after the hard playing and then the big male gathered them up and was steaming S in front of CB but heading for the deeper water. It is pretty shallow in that area but the tide was high. Once they hit the ledge where the Sound drops off deep between the east shore and the reef the dove deep and I never seen them again. Boats started moving south so I would say they were headed deeper into the south Sound. Lived here 21 years and only the 3rd time I have spotted Orcas from the house. Usually they are headed south and moving fast. Great to see them stop and play. Would have been awesome if they were on the this side of the narrows.
Spotted a pod just north of Chambers Bay
close to the tracks in the shallows. Played for 30 minutes or more and last seen headed south in front of CB 30 minutes ago and dove into deeper water and never saw them again. 7 or 8 total one bull and a smaller male. -Tom Ferrari
2:24 - 6 orcas in south Sound by Narrows bridge
heading to Steilacoom. Seen from Chambers Bay golf course
. -Courtney Kennel
1:20 PM - Orca Pod traveling through Sunset Beach (NW Vashon Island). 5-8 Orcas
, multiple males, traveling South about 250-300 feet from shore. -Brandi LaPointe
Saw a bunch of splashing near Nisqually Reach
. Turns out it was Orcas "playing" with some poor seabird
. They kept jumping on it and hitting it with their flippers. These guys were not hungry. There were 15-20 stellar sea lions in the area that they totally ignored. They were doing this for fun. They would eat him and spit him out over and over. The bird lived though. Then one came up from out of nowhere and jumped out of the water right in front of me. Scared the crap out of me. Engine was off luckily. - Travis Harris
11:05 am - J pod heading west past Clover Point
, east Victoria, reported by Brett of Eaglewing Tours to Josh McInnes
J Pod calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones from 2:48 a.m.
lasting for about 30 minutes. -Jeanne Hyde
update. They are still heading slowly north toward Boston Harbor
- more spread out than when they headed into Budd Inlet
. Gorgeous day. Sea Lions are hiding on the Eld Inlet side of Cooper Point spit. -Kim Merriman
They are heading north again from Burfoot, out of Budd Inlet
. -Gayle Swigart
South South orcas are moving slowly south into Budd Inlet (near Olympia)
. They are in Gull Harbor - which is south of Boston Harbor. I have lost sight because they have gone past the tip of Cooper Point which blocks my view. -Kim Merriman
They have headed north very slowly. They were headed toward Dana Passage and Harstene Island
. They weren't in a hurry. They rejoined together and cartwheeled, head stand, spy hopped, breached their way all the time as they headed "out" of Budd Inlet. I have now lost track of them. There will be some photos coming. GORGEOUS day.
update. Still in the Budd/Eld inlet
body of water...straight in front of me and in front of Boston Harbor (opposite shores). Very active. Lots of tail slaps and breaching - sometimes all at the same time. Split into smaller groups of two or three and have spread out. Not much wind so you can hear every blow! -Kim Merriman
Three humpbacks moving fast into Juan de Fuca Strait
. -Josh McInnes
10:26 pm -
Still hearing humpback vocals on Orcasound hydros.
8:30 pm - humpbacks on Orcasound
. -Josh McInnes
Killer whales at Bush Point.
This is a few days late but wanted to report the sighting anyway. I had just seen a harbor seal and they surfaced exactly where he was. They did not appear to be hunting though. Two females traveled east along the beach to the white rock and then turned northwest towards Lagoon Point and I lost sight if them. It was a pretty stormy morning with a high tide, the water was rough and quite off colored. I fish this area a lot and was quite suprised to see them so close to shore. Amazing. -Ian Patterson
just watched 3 orcas traveling South from under the Narrows bridge
. They were moving fast - passing Titlow about 4:15
. They we're close to the Titlow side. -Heidi Powers Armstrong
Orcas! 3:20 off Owen Beach, closer to Vashon
heading Southwest. Fb won't let me post it to ON per Jessica Pagan - posted by Jamie Grundhauser.
One large several smaller Orca midpoint in Henderson Bay
(in Carr Inlet, west of Gig Harbor). Moving SW. - Nathan Kellogg
An orca pod was seen in Henderson bay at 2:30 PM.
(in Carr Inlet, NW of Gig Harbor). -James MacDonald
Whales in Thompson Cove this am
. Sighted by Joe H.. Two adults and two calves and 3 seal ions trying to get away. Posted on the Anderson Island
FB page. -Kim Merriman
1:17 pm -
We here at Diamond Point
just saw a lone male Orca
about 1000 yards off shore heading east to Discovery Bay
(west of Port Townsend). When he was about at the mouth of Discovery Bay he suddenly turned around & headed back to the west. We could hear & see him quite well. So fun to see. -Helen Bohac
10:00 AM - Case Inlet Orcas.
Saw 3-4 orcas in Case Inlet, just south of McMicken Island around 10:00am this morning. They were playing for a bit, rolling on their backs, then traveled south. -Shirley McNeil
1:40 - Still off the south end of Ketron Island
I see them pretty far north of here, off the east side of Anderson Island
. -Gayle Swigart
4:29pm - Hearing faint calls on Lk, since 3:30
, getting louder now. -Selena Rhodes Scofield
Saw maybe 5 or 6 orcas off the beach at Langley
today around noon
...couldn't get a decent pic, but they were unmistakably killer whales. I've never seen them in the wild before, it was amazing. -Brittany Mcphie Pham
Note: these orcas were not identified and may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.
9:30 - NW of pt Wilson
, pod headed NW, in no real hurry. -Duke Davis
3:09pm - 5-6 Orcas just went past Fox Island
fishing pier. Headed towards Narrows Bridge
. -Andrea Shields Pellumbi
2:12 - Mid channel btwn Anderson and McNeil
. -James Gresham
breaching and leaping on the northwest shore of Ketron island
right now. They are heading north now. -Joe Orcason
1:39 - Orcas
by they Narrows
. I'm on Anderson Island and can see them with binoculars. -Rachel Wiemann-Maw
sounds like two groups of orcas are around Anderson Island area. James Gresham reports being at Steilacom dock and seeing them heading slowly north on the east side of Anderson Island.
12:40 - 2 groups of Orcas
just passed the Riviera Marina (Anderson Island
) heading north. Very active.
12:20 - Pod of Whales
just passed by Cole Point
heading North on the East side of Anderson Island
. Get your Cameras ready. Will be going by the Riv. Marina Dock soon. -Kim Merriman
I could still hear the Orcas
milling around until the cargo ship came by. They were closer to Hansville
3:50 - mid channel of Windmill Heights
(about a mile south of Bush point). Heading quickly South. Can't tell how many but more than 5
. -Mike Meyer
3:40 pm -
Sandra and Dick have fins and spouts at Bush pt. headed south
2 pm -
Heard K Pod
on PT hydro's
- strongly suspect they are inbound. -Connie Bickerton
1030 - approx 6 orcas. Middle of Saratoga,
shallow surfaces, circling trending northwest. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
Note: these orcas were not identified and may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.
9:30 am - Pod of Orcas Whidbey island by Inn at Langley!
-Kim Dunkley Wetherell
Note: these orcas may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.
11:00 - Orcas
made their way past the Riviera Marina (Anderson Island area)
heading south - there's a group of maybe 5 or 6. And are currently at Oro Bay. Messages from Anderson Islander FB page.
10:05 AM - Whales just sighted on East side of Anderson Island
. -Kim Merriman
Orcas in Rolling Bay (NE Bainbridge Island)
. -Connie Bickerton
At 2pm a group of 4 Orcas
travelling south in the mid channel just off Wing Point on Bainbridge Island
. -Jeff Scrugham
They must be hunting/foraging. It's getting harder to keep track of them. Still approaching Fay Bainbridge
but much closer to that side of the channel now. I'm always grateful for the opportunity to see whales but I'm especially grateful today! Thanks everybody!
12:05 - from Richmond beach
I can see approximately 10 heading south swiftly. They are still mid channel approaching Fay Bainbridge. -Sara Troyer
11:49 - counted five
. Moving south steady. out mid channel off President pt
Off President point moving south, near the channel marker. -Joanne Graves
pod is at Kingston
now steadily moving southbound... eastbound ferry getting great look. . I think more like 6-10 orcas
. Gotta go. Hope you all have sweet day.
from north Richmond Beach (kayu kayu) can see a pod of approx 5 just out from Apple Tree Pt.
north of Kingston trending south near two small boats. Seeing tail lobs. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
I spotted three
out towards Whidbey but more mid channel. Then there was another closer to Eglon
south of the first three.
10:33 - At Eglon now. I have multiple fins close to shore. Appear to be foraging. I counted five fins no apparent direction. Deep dives. -Elyse Margaret
10:15 AM -
from Rebecca French Gerke: They have turned back and headed NE...now off the south tip of Whidbey
. Small boat zipped out and floating amidst them. Getting a bit foggy/decreased visibility.
My dad just called to tell me he has a pod right in front of his house on Eglon Beach
, outside of Kingston, heading south! He said they are so far in it would be dry beach with the tide out. Wish I had pics. Awesome. -Katlin Jones Lee
9:40 AM - Eglon a group of 5 (?)
meandering about 200 feet offshore on the Kitsap side
. No real direction, just back and forth. Tail slaps and a spy hop at a passing sailboat. -Rebecca French Gerke
are apparently still in the south Sound. At 10 am
today, at least three orcas, 2 big and one small
, were seen in Henderson Bay
, which is in the upper reaches of Carr Inlet, NW of Gig Harbor
, according to a report just called in from Vinnie Shefler. The T137s have been in the south Sound since at least Nov. 23rd.
12:01 pm -
A report of Ts in San Juan Ch. near Yellow Island
, going north, from Tom Averna.
-James Mead Maya
10:28 am - Four orcas
heading north past Mouat Point on Pender Island
I saw a post from 8:30 this morning
on Tweeters birding list that Orca were spotted in Edmonds
this morning. I emailed the person that posted asking about direction of travel.
from Jeremy at Tweeters: "For anyone interested, there are three or four Orcas just off the pier. It's been entertaining swiveling between Snowy Owl and whale views. They were heading north from Edmonds up towards Mukilteo. I lost sight of them as they were passing east of Possession Point (Whidbey Island)."
We saw a pod of 5 or more
heading north in a tight formation by the western side of Vashon Island
Yes...going up Colvos
Seen from Old Ferry Dock in Gig Harbor
.. Pt. Defiance to the right...south and they were heading north into Colvos Passage
..between Gig Harbor and Vashon Island.
Yes..now going north up Colvos Passage
. They are moving fast!!
Im heading to Tacoma Narrows Park Gig Harbor...just spotted them in the distance heading south below the bridge..close to shore.
T137s and T36Bs went north under the Tacoma Narrows bridge
. Here is a photo from this afternoon of T137 throwing a harbor seal.
-Candice K. Emmons, Research Fisheries Biologist, NOAA/NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center
They are in Colvos Passage
. Visible from Sunrise Beach.
2:31 - Heading up Colvos
-Kathy Cappon Eliasen
2:44 - think they just passed Point Richmond
headed north fast.
they are headed up Colvos
, close to Gig Harbor side.
just north of Gig Harbor
, trending north into Colvos Passage
, close to Gig Harbor side.
NOAA is with them. Hard to see with the sun behind them. Still north of the bridge mid channel but trending south slowly.
1:00 pm -
milling mid channel just north of Narrows Bridge
. Looks like NOAA is joining them.
They are back. Just north of bridge
. I saw 5
I see them! 300 yards north of the bridge
. Coming south.
About 20 minutes ago I saw 2 heading south under the narrows
1:00 PM -
At least 4+ orcas
near and around the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
. I saw two with large fins/ hey appeared to be feeding. at one point I saw a smaller dolphin or seal get lightly tossed. They were all coming up to the surface over and over quickly and I saw a few of their tails.
I spy! coming north up Narrows passage
still south of Salmon Beach.
-Michele Riley Campbell
I just saw splashing mid channel right where that boat just went.
-Jessica Arnold Badgett
Moving pretty quick north
They turned north
again and are hugging the Gig Harbor
At Narrows viewpoint
...orcas north of bridge around Salmon beach
-Victoria Elizabeth Scalise
They have now crossed under the bridge heading north
still. They should be coming up that direction (towards Pt Defiance
) on the Salmon Beach
side of the channel
10:22am - 6 orca
heading towards Salmon beach
about to head under the narrows bridge
. Large male with them.
About 4:15 pm
there was a small trailing group that appeared to be foraging south of Bush Pt,
across from Foulweather bluff closer to the Whidbey Side. We watched from about 3 pm to 3:45 pm from Bush Pt
. as they traveled spread out, heading south. A submarine passed by, one trailing group remained closer to the Whidbey side, the whales that had passed earlier headed over toward Foulweather Bluff and the Kitsap side. Difficult in windy conditions with lots of whitecaps, but great to see them coming back in on this sunny day!
heading south past Bush Point
, Whidbey Island.
- Susan Berta
spread out from Mutiny Bay between Foulweather Bluff and Double Bluff
, approaching Point No Point. Some foraging and tail lobbing. K20
below demonstrates the wind at her tail blowing her breath ahead of her.
seeing the orcas heading south, passing Lagoon Pt
(west Whidbey Isl) heading toward Bush Pt, closer to the Whidbey side.
, heading south past Bush Point
- Jill Hein
I'm just north of Bush Point
and they are going by. Most nose to the ground but some lingering.
There are several that we assume are hunting hanging in the upwelling just north of Bush Point
but some have already made it to Bush Point proper.
3:19 pm -
Jan Bell at Bush Pt
reported orcas heading south
past Bush Pt.
Seeing from Bush Pt
now. Waves making it difficult to see.
Definitely southbound! Close in front of Lagoon Pt
- from Orca Network volunteer Rachel Haight: Saw my first blow. Due north of Bush Pt, between me at Ft Casey and Bush Pt.
At least two blows well south of here close to Whidbey side. I'm assuming southbound and relocating to Lagoon Pt now.
1 pm -
Connie Bickerton reports hearing orcas on the Port Townsend hydrophone
, sounded like K pod to her.
T068A north bound in Haro Strait
-Mark Malleson, taken under permit #MML-001
Just spotted a pod from Narrows Park
heading towards Steilacoom.
Ken Balcomb reports seeing 4 or 5 humpbacks south of Sooke
Ken Balcomb relayed reports that members of possibly K pod
was seen heading west out the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the afternoon
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