January 2012 Whale Sightings
January 31, 2012
January 30, 2012
Thank you for the wonderful Way of Whales workshop. I have to share the final flourish on the weekend. My father Malcolm, on his last leg home to Victoria on Monday morning, saw from BC Ferries Coastal Renaissance at Active Pass a group of six orcas heading east into the Strait of Georgia
. The thrill was greater having spent Saturday in Coupeville learning more about these incredible creatures.
Melissa T Anderson
January 29, 2012
January 28, 2012
Greg Falxa and I saw a Gray Whale yesterday. Here is the info: Gray Whale, Steilacoom ferry dock, ~1:50 - 2:10 pm
. First saw the whale at 1:50 pm as we got on ferry. It surfaced west of the terminal, approx 80 yds from ferry. In a 20 minute period we saw about 6 surfaces, whale was traveling northwest. Ferry left the dock at 2:10 pm - and that was the last we saw of it. On our return from Anderson Island on 1/29 I asked the crew if they had seen it that day and nobody had. We are not certain of the age, but it was 'not small'........
Lori Salzer, Wildlife Biologist, WDFW Wildlife Program
January 27, 2012
I'd like to report that yesterday, while we were water monitoring, we spotted one (possibly two) younger [humpback] whales on Dabob Bay in Hood Canal
. They were in the north estuary section near Broadspit (off Taylor Shellfish Lab) and looked like they were hanging out for a while.
Connie Gallant, Greenfleet Monitoring Expeditions, Quilcene, WA
Humpbacks in Hood Canal since 1972 -I looked at my old fishing records from 1972 to 1982 and noted that we had Humpbacks in Hood Canal 3 times. Resident Orca on a fairly regular basis from late Sept. to Nov. Two or 3 times a season and as far up as Hoodsport.
Monte Hughes, owner/captain of Mystic Sea
January 26, 2012
My daughter and I observed one solitary gray whale about 100yds NW of the Edmonds fishing pier at 3:45pm
this afternoon. I heard it behind me first, spun around and saw its broad back submerge, then it surfaced two more times before disappearing. About 5 minutes later saw it blow twice, several hundred yards off to the southwest. Brief but really exciting. It was such a nice afternoon to be outside for a bit, and the sighting made it extra special.
Leonard (and Roz) Vaughn
January 25, 2012
Heard faint calls at Lime Kiln hydrophone 8:40 am
Suzy, Key Largo, FL
January 24, 2012
January 23, 2012
- north side of Hornby Island
. We Just had a pod of approximately 7 orcas
, no confirmed ID, but probably group of Resident as sea lions swimming happily nearby! Animals moving east about one km off shoreline
Alan and Jennifer Fletcher
Sharon Johnson called to report a Gray whale at 4 pm
, fairly close to shore, west of the dolphin/marker marking the reef off Everett
. She is watching from Potlatch Dr. on the Tulalip Reservation.
Noon, gray whale
heading south on west side of Camano Island
near Pebble Beach.
A gray whale
has been feeding in front of my house since 5:45 this morning
. It's now 7:25 AM
and is still there splashing and blowing in the early dawn. It's still too dark for me to get an ID.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley
January 22, 2012
Orca - Killer Whales - 9:10 am
Call came in 2 Orca (at least) were Southbound towards Powell River
from between Savary Island and Lund. One Male, one Female.
Al Wood, Lund Water Taxi, via Susan MacKay
I just moved here so im not sure if this is noteworthy or not but i definitely saw a whale of some sort
while running along Alki beach (West Seattle)
probably between 3 and 4 in the afternoon
. I didn't see it blow any water but it came up and i saw its big ol tail go up in the air as other went down for a dive. I didn't ever see its front so i couldn't tell if it was am orca. It did it twice and i didn't see it again. It must've swam a long was because it was not far from shore.
January 21, 2012
Thanks to Tom and Jane Cogan, Jeanne Hyde and I were able to see some members of J Pod
. We got the first call from them at 11:29 AM
. I looked out from our front porch and there they were! Looked like residents from a distance. Jeanne met me at Snug Harbor, and we took off in the Peregrine. Within ten minutes, in very big seas, we spotted them and confirmed that they were members of J Pod. Not all of them were there, and J48, the new calf was absent, sadly. We never did see the rest of J Pod. Check out Jeanne's blog for id's (see below). We see J Pod every month of the year, but not on a regular basis, until the summer when they know all the tourists will be out in force, and they can people watch. Then they are here most every day. Salmon runs have a role in their appearances also.
Capt. Jim Maya
slowly headed north along the west side of San Juan Island
. Saw the first orcas at about 11:25 am
, with more trickling past until shortly after noon. Some milling, some foraging. Preliminary ID suggests J pod. At first we thought the orcas might be transients, but they looked like they were going after fish. However, after seeing nearly 20 orcas trickle past, and confirming that J28
was in the mix, we knew we had some Js. The orcas were pretty far from shore, and the seas were getting worse by the minute.
, on Maya's Westside Charters we encountered the J16s, J11s, J17s, and J22s
just south of Kellet Bluff
, northbound (north of San Juan Island, up Haro Strait). The encounter ended at 12:45
as the whales were abeam of Battleship Island, heading north toward Turn Pt. Here's a list of the whales we saw: J27, J31, J39, J22, J32, J34, J38, J17, J28, J35, J44, J46, J47, J16, J26, J36 and J42
. I'll post pictures on my blog.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
At least one male orca
is off Depoe Bay OR
) heading south. Linda and others at the Whale Center saw the dorsal several times, about 1/2 mile to a mile from shore in 15' waves. There could have been more between the whitecaps.
January 20, 2012
January 19, 2012
Offshore orcas off Dana Point CA January 19. Whale-watching vessels report seeing 20 to 40 of the marine mammals, also known as orcas, swimming up the coast from Dana Point to Long Beach. The orcas stopping through Thursday may be from an "offshore" population based in British Columbia. They travel in massive numbers and prefer to feed on sharks, experts said. The offshore orcas were last seen close to the Southern California shore in 2005. It's not uncommon for the marine mammals to roam Southern California waters in search of sharks and other prey, according to the experts who track and identify them. Seeing them in such numbers, however, is unusual.
Full story and photo:
Dozens of killer whales thrill Southern California sightseers
By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
- Call came in that there was a large group of Orca headed Northward from Lang Bay BC
. They were spread out across the channel.
Call came in that there were whales coming towards Grief Point BC
After the "Orca out in front" sighting call from neighbour Steve Grover, I got binoculars on at least 4 Orca out in front of Westview Powell River
. One male breached just off the Viewpoint as it headed in towards shore. About 2 pm An additional 3 Orca (1 Male, 1 Female & 1 Juvenile) passed by making my total count 7 Orca. They were not wasting time in heading Northward towards Atrevida Reef.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Jeanne Hyde reports hearing a few seconds of what sounds like J pod calls
on the Lime Kiln hydrophones
January 18, 2012
Cool! I watched him (her?) (gray whale
) from the lobby at the Inn at Langley
for a while. Also rang the whale bell for the first time this season! Hurray!
Fred Lundahl, Langley, WA
What a pleasure!! The gray whale
that I called you about earlier finally headed off at about 1:45
, looks like to the north. I watched it feeding in front of my house NW of Langley
for a couple of hours. The whale was doing the typical feeding pattern of feeding for 15 minutes or so and then swimming out to deeper water, does a couple of big head nods and then circling back in for more feeding. I took some pictures- challenging in the driving snow! Got a good back shot and I'm sure you'll agree that its Cascadia research gray whale #53, back early this year! I did not get any shots of it's fluke and will send you more pec shots.
Veronica von Allwörden
There are two whales
(momma and baby?) about 300 hundred yards off of Langley beach
and heading towards Camano.
That bell was the Eagle Scout project of Michael Scullin.
Yes, and Tim Leonard helped with the metal work for the stand, & built the metal stands for our Marine Mammal Interpretive signs in Langley as well - Orca Network is VERY GRATEFUL to Michael and Tim for this project!!
Susan and Howard
January 17, 2012
A large whale, possibly a gray whale
, is heading south across the Edmonds/Kingston ferry lane
, very close to the Edmonds dock, at 12:48 pm
today. Chris Kennedy of WA St. Ferries called to relay the report from a ferry captain.
TRANSIENT ORCAS OFF MOSS LANDING
: CA51s and the CA140
s have returned home to Monterey Bay! Report via Orca Network: Capt. Jim Davis of Blue Ocean Whale Watch and Captain Michael Sack from Sanctuary Cruises photographed this group of 10 whales outside Moss Landing harbor late yesterday afternoon.
We saw them on January 1, January 2, January 4, and January 10 from our ACSA/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at Pt, Vicente; sightings stretched from just south of Malibu to Long Beach. January 3 they were off Dana Point. They were (likely) off Zuma Beach on January 11 (no pics), off Avila Beach January 15, and yesterday back in Monterey, near Moss Landing. WOW! Hopefully they will pay a visit to southern California again soon; we REALLY enjoyed it!
The photos can be downloaded at Sanctuary Cruises. Location: 36.48.5N and 121.48.0W. Time: 1500-1630.
Photos by Captain Michael Sack, January 17, 2012.
Capt. Jim Davis of Blue Ocean Whale Watch was outside Moss Landing
harbor late this afternoon
and snapped a few photos of the killer whales
that were milling about near the mile-marker buoy. He said they were surfacing infrequently, spread out from one another, and changing their direction often but generally staying in the same area outside the harbor. While we had heard from a fisherman coming in from a trip that there was supposedly an attack on a gray whale, they could not find any evidence of the attack. Looks to me like the CA51s and maybe the CA50s but I can't tell much from the photos (all taken by Jim).
Moss Landing, Monterey Bay, CA: Bill Schlegelmilch, a crabber, called Orca Network at 12:31 with a report of 3 to 6 orcas about 2 miles out from Moss Landing
today, Jan. 17. They were travelling a 210 degree course. Not certain about male dorsal, but he saw the saddle patches. He saw them at 10:15 and 12:00 noon.
9:42 am -
While talking on the phone, I was surprised to notice a blow a short distance off the Westview ferry teminal in Powell River BC
. Quickly looking through binoculars, a few Orca appeared briefly. Doing long dives and surfacing very briefly, there were only a few chances to really look at them. There were approximately 7 Orca counted
, but there may have been more. They including at least one large male and one, possibly two juveniles. After a couple of quick breaths they disappeared for quite a while and popped up again quite a distance off before the next breath. By 9:50 am they were Southbound
well past the viewpoint and almost to Grief Point and out of sight.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
January 16, 2012
January 15, 2012
January 14, 2012
Just got a report that yesterday morning there were 7 to 9 Orca
by the Quadra ferry
northbound - will find out which side out Quadra for the blog.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
January 13, 2012
Don Rothaus of WDFW reported a Minke whale 2 - 3 nautical miles NE of Smith Island
(off NW Whidbey Island, WA) at 2:50 pm
January 12, 2012
Amy Carey called to relay a sighting of a large whale
, not orcas, off Vashon Island, just SW of Alki Pt
., heading generally south around 8:30 am
. Three blows were seen. It's not known i this was a minke or possibly a gray whale, or another exotic whale that shouldn't be here, like the Bryde's whales seen last year.
January 11, 2012
12:30 pm -
just after discussing the lack of sightings with a regular contributor to Whales and Dolphins BC Sightings Blog in a store, I received a call from Bill Taylor that there were around 7 Orca just south of Powell River
headed in my direction.
1:15 pm -
By the time I got down to the skiff, I spotted blows by VanAnda, Texada Island. There were a couple of breaches as the Orca slowly made their way towards Powell River
. They were quite spread out with some closer to Grief Point and others hugging the Texada shore when a couple of them popped up in the middle of the strait. The two big males in the lead disappeared pretty quickly, but there was at least one other male and two juveniles. With the spread, it was very difficult to get a definitive count, but there were between 11 to 14 whales total
I dropped the hydrophone and through the boat noise, I did hear a few calls as well as some echolocation. They sounded more like Resident Orca, than Transients, but with all the boat noise, it was not enough to be sure of who. Once the video clip (my still camera is in the shop) is reviewed, I'll be able to pull a photo for the blog and get a proper identification. The majority of the Orca headed out between Texada and Rebecca Rocks towards Vancouver Island while the last two went out closer to Harwood around 3 pm. Once home, I spotted a few of their blows heading North-West towards Sentry Shoal. One of my sightings looks like J27
. Exciting that the Southern Residents of J-Pod seem to come to Powell River at least once a year in the winter.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
Dave Ellifrit of CWR has confirmed the IDs of the other 2 orcas as as J31 and L87
This report in from Al Luneman, from 3:07 pm: Minke whale
~ 2 miles out from Ebey's Landing
(central/west Whidbey Island, WA) slowly heading south in the sunshine.
January 10, 2012
On 10 January, the same day that we had the CA51s and the 140s
off the Palos Verdes Peninsula
, the Condor Express saw a single killer whale about two miles north of Santa Cruz Island in the Santa Barbara Channel
. It was a young male, when we get the photos to Alisa we will let you know who it was.
ORCAS off Pt. Vicente!
1 mile out - headed out/east!! I got on these whales for about an hour (on the Christopher). We saw 10 orcas
- the same ones that were spotted last week: the CA51s (7 whales) and the CA140s (3 whales)
. We left them about 3.5 miles off the Los Angeles lighthouse
just before 5pm, headed ESE toward Dana Point. Two briefly porpoised; some made a few close passes near our boat. One the earlier trip they had been breaching, spyhopping, lobtailing, apparently throwing prey (sea lions) around, playng in kelp, and vocalizing!
I just watched the orcas
celebrate a kill for well over an hour. Milling with spyhops, breaches, lobtails, headstands and tail kicks. Alisa Schulman-Janiger already identified them as the CA140s and CA51s
. The Voyager IV Excursions, LLC got on them also.
January 9, 2012
Just a hint of how far reaching the internet is: I received a late third hand report of some Orca by Cape Mudge lightstation on the afternoon of January 9th. The report came from Jodie in the UK
surfaced quite close to the Texada Ferry
just out from Blubber Bay BC
and headed North.
Whale report from my mother in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island (about 15 miles south of Nanaimo). She saw two orcas, possibly mother and calf, entering Ladysmith Inner Harbour around 8.00 am
January 8, 2012
After a heads up from Jeanne, we went out with Jim Maya on Peregrine this afternoon and had an encounter with four transients (T68, T68A, T75B, and T75B1) at the east end of Spieden Channel
. We caught the tail end of them beating up a Steller sea lion before they dispatched it and fed and milled in that same general area until we left them around 1610.
We got a call from Kim and Karl at Lonesome Cove this afternoon, telling us that there were Orcas in Speiden Channel, 3:30ish
. It was the T68s
. The male is T68a
. The other two were T75b and T75b1
, according to David Elifrit. Great news. Love an Orca phone call. We got there in about thirty minutes. Dave Elifrit, from the Center for Whale Research and Jeanne Hyde, our naturalist were on the boat (Jeanne Hyde's Blog). Four transient Orcas were attacking a Steller Sea Lion. About 20 minutes the attack continued and then a long period of nothing. The rest of the time they fed on the Steller right off Green Point, Speiden Island. It's amazing to watch nature in all its variations!
Capt. Jim, Maya's Westside Charters
5:40 pm -
They were transients
, one of them being T68
3:20 - Orcas in Speiden Channel
, heading east. That would put them approaching San Juan Channel, toward Friday Harbor.
January 7, 2012
Saw a couple of orcas
off the coast of Big Sur CA this morning
- as best I could tell, they were hunting sea lions as they went after a couple of them, though they left alone large rafts of sea lions closer in to shore. They headed north past Grimes Point afterwards.
January 6, 2012
9:10am, 7 Orca
seen from the Vashon - Fauntleroy Ferry
, traveling south
Submitted by Shango Los but observed by Topher Farrell
Brad Hanson of NOAA Fisheries, who was out with the orcas today in Puget Sound, said members of both J and K pods were present. They did see J16, but did not see her new calf, J48 while they were with the whales today.
He conferred with Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research, and they agree no confirmation of the calf's status can be made until they are able to have another encounter with J16 and her matriline. They left the whales half way between Kingston and Point No Point, just before dark. Brad feels the whales were likely going to head out of Admiralty Inlet (however reports below, posted shortly after the research boat departed, say the whales slowed down and stalled out - so who knows which way they will go).
Last 30 min or so have picked up pace a bit. Should be coming up to Point No Point soon
. Maybe before too dark.
Research vessel just left. Whales are still heading north
I saw them go by just north of Kingston
. They are moving more quickly now, it seems!
can see blows from pt. no pt
They pretty much due west of Edmonds ferry terminal
3:55 pm -
Cathy Bacon reports orcas north of Kingston
, along the kitsap side with research boat.
I'm still sitting north of Edmonds ferry
. Can still see one research vessel and occasional splashes near it. Still slowly heading north
looks like they're off Appletree Cove
, west side of south bound shipping lane off Kingston, WA
Cameron H. Covington
3:28 pm -
The orcas are headed slowly north
, very close to the Kingston-Edmonds ferry lane now
. Rain is making it hard for me to see them from Richmond Beach. It's tail-lob Friday out there!
3:10 pm -
I've spotted the orcas
through binoculars: south of the Kingston-Edmonds ferry
, north of mid-channel buoy, 2-3 miles from the Shoreline/Edmonds side. There is clearly a research boat out with them now. Headed slowly north still. Kitsap peninsula folks may have a better view...
3:05 pm -
Meg McDonald sees many blows from Carkeek Park
, possibly in a resting line north of Kingston, still heading north in the misty distance.
Very close to NE point of Bainbridge
We see them still tailslapping between 2 research boats.
whales are about a mile offshore from Carkeek Park
, north of Golden Gardens.... and they're still heading north at moderate speed, not a lot of surface activity.
they are now mid channel right off golden gardens
orcas at Discovery Park
, heading north slowly, still lots of tail slaps.
Sounds like they are finding a lot of fish, nearly every report we've had is of lots of tail-lobbing
! KOMO News said their video even showed one orca on it's side tail-lobbing.
They are rounding from out off the south end of Magnolia Bluff
, same pace northward. Looks like another research boat joined the first one. Happy day.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
just moving north of the magnolia blvd
pull off. North of the small boat.
they are still mid channel west of the Elliot Bay Marina
just off Magnolia
keeping that slow steady pace northward
Alisa Lemire Brooks
Saw them at 1150
from magnolia blvd
, they were circling a small boat and swimming slowly lobbing tails--- I've been trying to see them for over a year m. Finally!!! What an amazing day!! Ear to ear smile.
Watching from Alki
- group is indeed heading north - now midchannel across from Winslow
. Can see a new baby too!
group with research boat is smack in the middle of the east & west ferry lanes of the Bainbridge run
, much tail lobbing.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
They are still off Elliot Bay mid channel
northbound nearing Bainbridge ferry lanes
. They are moving fairly slow though they probably will take a little longer to reach Golden Gardens if they continue direct north movement at this pace. Also look for the small research skiff.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
update from Jeff hogan - orcas are 1/2 mile off Alki
now, slowly heading north
. He has ID'd J pod - the J11s, J16s, J17s, J22s.
NOAA Fisheries is out with them, so hopefully we'll get more details later in the day.
Still seeing a group mid channel slow movement north between Alki & Bainbridge
. Seaplane circling above, maybe get some pics.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
they're heading that way - about level with alki point
now. Enjoy - they were lots of fun to watch from my windows this morning ; )
From Queen Anne
I see them off the tip of Alki pt heading north
. Tail lobbing.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
Confirming earlier report of about 10. Off Alki
. Seem to be swimming north.
Big bunches - 6 and 4-5 - off Lowman beach
, milling and heading northish.
They turned around. Heading north now.
Kelly Burns Keenan
At least 5 in front of Emma Scmitz park
(off beach dr south of alki point) right now.
At least 4 are heading north past Blake Island
closer to the west seattle side, possible baby.
Update from Jeff Hogan - the orcas have now turned north, and are mid-channel, approaching Alki Pt
9:50 am -
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called with a report of orcas at the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry
crossing, headed south. No ID's yet.
Another report emailed: 7 orcas seen from the Vashon/Fauntleroy Ferry at 9:10 am
, heading south, observed by Topher Farrell.
9:30 am -
Received a call from Amy Carey - she has a report of 10 orcas off the north side of Vashon Island
, heading south.
January 5, 2012
We saw about 6-8 orcas
. A group of 4 or 5 and a second group of 2 or 3 following the first. We saw them from North Beach in Port Townsend
. They were moving East toward Pt. Wilson. We left North Beach and drove over to the overlook above the Marine Science Ctr at Ft. Worden. We saw the whales just off from the lighthouse, but it was getting dark and they seemed to be hanging out there.
Fred Lundhal called with a second-hand report of two orcas, a mom and calf, about 400 yards off the beach at Langley, Whidbey Island from 4:15 to 5 pm
. In light of the report of orcas going south past Ballard after 3 pm, we can't verify that these were orcas, or whether they were possibly sea lions rafting and sticking their flippers in the air, since we haven't spoken to the original reporting party. Or it's possible that there are some transients near Langley while the residents are headed south in Puget Sound.
S/V ORION: The whales were headed south past Ballard and West Point between 3:00 and 3:30 this afternoon
. We saw around ten whales including a mother and calf who were surfacing more frequently than the others. Much too far away for photos.
~11:15 am -
Sound Experience aboard the Schooner Adventuress posted: ORCAS
. We're Northbound for Port Townsend and 4 whales southbound in the lanes just south of Point No Point
. Good omen for the upcoming winter projects.
9:30 am -
Just got a call from the neighbor. There is a group of Orcas heading south just going past Hansville
--almost to Point No Point about mid-channel. They were pretty far out. I saw about 3 or 4 dorsals at least.
Judy Anderson Roupe
Southern Resident Killer Whale calls auto-detected this morning during two periods: 04:02-04:12 and 04:48-04:50
on Port Townsend hydrophones.
Whales and Dolphins of BC - Some Northern Resident Orca
made an appearance in the Blackfish Sound
area just above Johnstone Strait today. There were also Transient Orca rumoured in the upper Johnstone Strait area
January 4, 2012
January 3, 2012
January 2, 2012
At least 10 killer whales
were spotted late Sunday afternoon and again Monday morning off the Palos Verdes CA Peninsula
, stealing the spotlight from migrating gray whales.
Jeanne Hyde reports hearing one faint Transient orca call on the Lime Kiln
, San Juan Island hydrophone at 9:15 am
January 1, 2012
My last view of them (before it was too dark) was at 4:40 pm
, slightly north of where they'd spent the past 2+ hours
. Perhaps they'll go in to Penn Cove under cover of darkness!
An email from Steve Rothboeck: have been watching them (the Transient orcas
) for 15 minutes, Saratoga passage
, well east of Coupeville. My best estimate is that these 2 Orca's were 2 miles east or NE of Harrington Lagoon in Saratoga Passage as I watched them between 1600 and 1630
I was on the pier at Shangri-La Shores (just south of Penn Cove
) and saw 3 orcas
cresting the water, midway between me and the northern tip of Camano Island. At the time, I thought they were dolphins because they seemed smaller than the orcas we saw earlier today off Ft Casey (2 adults, then a mother and calf). I'm wondering if they were the same orcas others reported. If they were, they looked younger because the arch under the fin was more pronounced, smaller and higher than the adult orcas off Ft Casey.
3:15 pm -
Jill Hein reports the orcas
are still in Saratoga Passage
, between Harrington Lagoon & NW Camano Island, closer to the Camano side, still hunting.
1:28 pm -
Long range iPhone shot of a pair of orcas northbound Saratoga Passage
, shot from midway between Camano and Cama Beach St Parks at Breezy Pt
2:14 pm -
Just got a call from Jill Hein - she was watching 7 or 8 orcas off Harrington Lagoon, south of Penn Cove
. There was at least 1 male, and a calf present - sounds like the group Marilyn just posted about below, but they sure headed north in a hurry!
We just came in from watching 5 to 6 orcas pass Fox Spit (Saratoga Passage)
, then from near Baby Island on Whidbey. Thinking it may be the group Alisa video taped at Richmond Beach yesterday, as there were a couple bigger males, and a calf with one of the females. Last we saw of them they turned just before baby Island and headed straight north.
About 1:10 pm
] were pretty spread out for awhile from Baby Island Heights (Whidbey Island)
. It seemed like the females and the calf were sort of hanging together, while the males were pretty much roving around on their own a bit. I think they were resting up some, since they were taking their time about things--Until they turned and headed north; it was just awhile later that someone reported that they were moving fast, had made a kill, and were very active. We didn't see that kind of activity, just some slower paced travel.
Another update from Cindy - at 1:05 pm
she called to say 2 more orcas, a mom & calf, had appeared off Ft. Casey State Park
- between the Admiralty Head Lighthouse & the smoke stack in Pt. Townsend.
1 pm -
again saw the small pod in Saratoga Passage
, out our office window in Greenbank
and from the bluff, at least one male closer to Camano Island
, and females with young between Baby Island and Camano Island State Park - we saw 5 of them across from Fox Spit closer to the Camano side about 5-10 min ago and they are coming towards Baby Island/Camano State Park right now or fairly soon....they are a bit further north now, but appear to be continuing foraging. As Cindy just said on the phone, "Whidbey Island is being hugged by orcas" today - Happy New Year!
Susan and Howard
Just received a call from Cindy Hurn who is watching 2 orcas from Ft. Casey State Park
- they are NW of the Park, off Ebey's landing
- must be the same 2 reported off Bush Pt. earlier.
12:50 PM - Calls at Port Townsend
, sound like transients.
12:34 - Whidbey Island is surrounded by orcas
right now. We have at least five headed north up Saratoga Passage almost to Greenbank now
. 12:25 -
We see them from Greenbank
coming north up Saratoga Passage between East Point, Whidbey Island and Camano Island, mid-channel.
Noon - about 7 or 8
, maybe a baby or two are in Saratoga Passage
currently, near Bells Beach, closer to Camano. Headed North while feeding. We THINK we saw a very small fin so this may be the group with the baby. What a fabulous way to greet 2012!!!
I just saw two Orcas heading north at Bush Point (Admiralty Inlet)
. They were swimming in the middle of the sound at a fast pace around 25 minutes ago. Very exciting!
ORCAS again today - heading down the coast! ACS/LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project volunteers ROCK! They watched ~7-8 orcas
for about two hours (off the Palos Verdes CA Peninsula
); they breached many times, and also spyhopped and lobtailed. They started out about two miles off, and came within a mile of shore. A pod of six gray whales
moved further offshore just before we found the orcas. A pod of common dolphin swam by, not far from the orcas. I just went through most of the images taken by Diane Alps and Bernardo Alps aboard the First String. IDs so far: the CA51s
(7 whales ) and the CA140s
(3 whales); I suspect that the CA50s
(2 whales) were also there. This adds up to 12 orcas - the same ones we saw off Pt. Vicente on Dec 10, and Davey's Locker saw off Newport Beach on Dec 11. This encounter lasted from ~4:45 pm until shortly after 5:00 pm.
Southern California was treated to a special new year's day surprise. A pod of 7 Orcas hung out off Palos Verdes CA
for over 2 hours this afternoon. The ACS/LA Gray Whale Census folks watched them from shore as they frolicked about 1 mile off shore. It was pretty amazing. We have not been able to ID them yet...waiting for pictures from nearby boats.
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