Recent whale sightings in the Salish Sea
(Puget Sound, Northwest Straits, Gulf Islands and Georgia Strait)
Sightings Summaries Archives
Sighting report archives
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The purpose of Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network and Education Project is to encourage observation and increase awareness and knowledge about the Southern Resident Community of orcas (J, K and L pods), and foster a stewardship ethic to motivate a diverse audience to take action to protect and restore these orcas' critical habitat.
The orcas' steep population decline of 20% from 1995 to 2001 is a reflection of the problems and issues facing the greater Puget Sound marine and watershed ecosystems: declining salmon runs, PCB contamination, and the effects of a rapidly increasing human population including habitat loss and resource depletion. Through a volunteer Whale Sighting Network, sightings and observations of this orca community are gathered and disseminated to researchers and volunteers, and posted on our website.
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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
10:26 pm -
Still hearing humpback vocals on Orcasound hydros.
8:30 pm - humpbacks on Orcasound
. -Josh McInnes
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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