February 2010 Whale Sightings

February 28, 2010

A second hand report of 7 Orca off the south end of Gabriola Island from two fellows fishing for salmon around noon. The fellows were more concerned about the panicked California Sea Lions eyeing up their boat as a haul out than the Orcas!
Lisa Munro
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I saw one gray whale at 6:00 off the top of Saratoga Road (latitude 48.096429, longitude -122.512590). It was feeding in the shallows on, presumably, ghost shrimp. It hung around for about half an hour and headed east and south along the bluff where I could still hear it but not see it.
Linda Frasier, Whidbey Island
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One gray whale at entrance to Elger Bay on Camano, feeding at 5:30 pm. Many birds feeding on the disturbed ghost shrimp and other marine life.
Dodie Markey, Camano Island
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Nancy Zaretzke of Greenbank called Orca Network to report 1 Gray whale off Crane's Landing Rd, (North Bluff/Greenbank, E Whidbey Island) at 4 pm, heading south toward Hidden Beach.
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Georgina Silby called Orca Network to report they were in a sailboat between NW Camano Island and the entrance to Penn Cove (N. Saratoga Passage), and saw a Gray whale at 2:15 pm, closer to Camano but heading east toward Penn Cove.

February 27, 2010

We watched three grays in Elger Bay (W Camano Island) late this afternoon . Two of them stuck around for about an hour and a half. It was wonderful - the earliest we ve ever seen them here.
Dale Wagner

February 26, 2010

Two grays feeding close to shore at Kayak Point (Port Susan) right now, 11:45am.
Gary Lingenfelter
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9:15 am we spotted a Gray mid-channel, Port Susan between Tulalip Shores and Camano Island, heading North. Blows were about 3 minutes apart on the journey north.
Vicki & Jim Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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Around 1000 hrs we saw several gray whale spouts mid channel directly in front of Sunny Shores on the Tulalip Reservation. They were moving slowly into the head of Port Susan. It appeared there were 2-3 adults and one calf. They were not moving too quickly and being mid channel were too far away to take photos. Seems early to have them visit us, but it is an El Nino year. Nice to know they are in the neighborhood again.
Doug Barlow

February 25, 2010

Just got back inside after spending about 1 1/2 hours watching 2 gray whales in front of our home, just south of the Mabana Road. About 2:30 PM I noticed the 2 grays (one large, one much smaller) feeding in the shallows. Lots of stirred up sediment and waving pec fins. Must have been lots to eat as they stayed in one place for an extended time. They finally moved out deeper and slowly headed north toward the Mabana Road.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island
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Orca Network received a call from Gerry Pitsch at 11:45 am, reporting two Gray whales feeding .5 miles off West Beach two miles south of NAS Whidbey Island (NW Whidbey).
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To advise a grey whale feeding off Edgecliff Drive (about 1/2 mile east of downtown Langley) at 10am. This is an area that the greys regularly feed due to the ready availability of ghost shrimp; although, this is very early for transients. Presumably, it is a "residential" grey. It appears to be moving slowly to the west/north up Saratoga Passage.
Dan & Louise Prewitt, Langley
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Wanted to let you know there was a lone (gray) whale here at Witter Beach near Langley, Whidbey Island, at about 8:40 am feeding. By the time I noticed him he was already bit past our place heading north.
Sharon Wandler

February 24, 2010

Bob Whitney of Port Townsend called Orca Network at 1:10 pm to report 2 Minkes in Admiralty Inlet, observed from Pt. Wilson mid-channel heading into the inlet from the west.

February 21, 2010

After receiving a report from Mark Malleson of L's heading south along the Vancouver Island shoreline, Ken Balcomb and Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research launched Starlet in Roche Harbor around 1530 and arrived on scene at 1610. The L12 subpod was traveling slowly south in Cordova Bay. Both L94 and L77 were traveling with calves and we were able to confirm that L113 was L94's calf. L77's calf (L114) was very young and still had fetal folds. Around 1700 near the south end of Cordova Bay, the L12s turned east and spread out and began foraging. Lots of taillobs, cartwheels and pec slaps out of L79, L85, and L89. L89 also breached twice and whales up ahead of us looked to be going after some fish. We left the whales at 1711 still spread out and heading east. Whales photographed were L12, L22, L25, L41, L77 and L114, L94 and L113, L79, L85, and L89.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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We received a report at 11:00 am that whales had been spotted in Swanson Channel off Morseby Island heading north. From shore at Thieves Bay Marina we observed whales traveling in a tight group about 500m off shore. Identified in this large group of 20+ whales were, members of J pod, K pod and L87. Shoreline observers: Lisa Moorby and Richard Philpot
Center for Whale Research
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I'd like to report a whale sighting. 2:00 pm, west coast of Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, WA, 100-200 yards off the beach at Perego's Lagoon, Ebey's Landing (lat/long: N 48.20134 W 122.73964). 1 whale, species unknown. NOT an Orca. (We assume it was a minke or gray whale but don't really know.) Behavior: Staying in one place, diving for ~5 minutes, then surfacing, blowing once or twice, and diving again. We watched the whale for about an hour (from the bluff top, then down on the beach); the whale was still there when we left. There is a kelp bed just off shore at this location. Weather & Tide: 50s, clear & sunny, very calm seas, low tide.
trapper robins
This sounds like the Gray whale reported by two people on Saturday afternoon, must be finding enough food to stick around for awhile!
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Someone had spotted J pod headed north up Swanson Ch. toward Active Pass. Off we headed north. Around Navy Ch. we spotted them. They were in a slow resting pattern, working into an ebb tide. The light was amazing, reflecting off their blows. As we hit the dock a message came through the some Ls had been sighted north of Cordova Bay close to shore headed south toward Victoria. We found them in about twenty minutes, and shortly thereafter Ken Balcomb and David Ellifrit showed up to photograph the Ls. I just got a call from Jeanne Hyde, who was with us today, and she thinks there were some Ks with the Js! We left the Js headed either up Trincomali Ch. or Active Pass at 2:45. The Ls were still headed south in Cordova Bay at 4:30.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watch, Friday Harbor
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I went out with Capt. Jim today after hearing that J Pod wasn't far away. When we met up with them they were in a resting pattern and were passing along one of the Canadian Gulf Islands, heading up Swanson Channel. With the cliff as a backdrop and the sun in the sky their blows were accented magnificently. But there was more, K pod whales were with them! I will have to go over all the images but at a glance were Georgia K-11, Onyx L-87, Spock K-20, Comet K-38. Also seen in J pod were a few who maybe weren't seen in late January. They are Spieden J-8, Shachi J-19 and her youngster J-41. Then an hour later L Pod whales showed up coming south. It appeared to be at least the L-12s and there was a calf traveling with Calypso L-94. But there was another calf too!! Alexis L-12, Mystery L-85, Mega L-41 etc.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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I stumbled into the L12's heading south along Island View Beach just south of Sidney, B.C. Cheers,
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, Victoria, B.C.
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The experience of finding J Pod in a resting formation at 2.15pm just off shore of Prevost Island was simply awe inspiring. Their slow, methodical misty blows were entrancing to watch in the spectacular light and calm conditions. We watched for a while and left them in the same resting pattern. It appeared by the large number of Orca that all members of the pod were there. Our magical day was not over even then. As we headed back to Victoria, just off Island View Beach we were surprised by more misty 'blows' and who should pop up but members of L Pod. Totally incredible and so unexpected. L 41, 'Mega' was the first to be ID by Mark. We had very little time with them as needed to be back in Victoria, but WOW , what an experience since my last three trips out, we had come up empty.
Marie O'Shaughnessy, Orca-Magic. Prince of Whales, Victoria BC.
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Approx. 9 orcas sighted off Island View Beach heading south from Sidney through the passage between James Island and Island View Beach and on towards Victoria, at around 3:25 PM, traveling fairly quickly. There was definitely at least one very large male, dorsal fin was very large in comparison to the others. There was also at least one calf with them, possibly two.
Chantelle LaRose
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Marshall Tripp called Orca Network to report 2 Gray whales off Bush Pt., SW Whidbey Island at 10:20 am, 3/4 mile out and heading south.
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Observed two whales - seemed to be humpbacks? from dorsals and flukes - heading south at approx. 10 am, sounding four times as they passed through the Bush Point rip.
Jan Bell, Freeland
We'll let you know if we get any photos or further confirmation on the species of the above reported 2 whales at Bush Pt. - we did have 2 Grays off SW Whidbey on Saturday, but have also had confirmed sightings of a humpback whale off SW Whidbey as well~
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We haven't been fortunate to see the Gray whale yet, but at low tide this afternoon the very distinctive feeding pits were visible for the first time this season on our beach just south of Mabana.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island

February 20, 2010

We were hiking along the lagoon and beach near Ebeys Landing around 2:30 and spotted a gray whale only about 50 yards from the beach. It seemed unusual to have a whale on the Admiralty Inlet side of the island. I believe it was a single gray whale, not very large as whales go (perhaps 20 feet?) It seemed to be feeding just off of the coast. We spotted it twice within about 15 minutes. At first we saw the spray from the blowhole and then its body roll through the top of the water.
Renee Gastineau, Seattle
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Veronica von Allworden called Orca Network at 3:45 pm, to report 2 Gray whales 1 mile south of Possession Pt, SW Whidbey Island, traveling east.
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My friend Bev MacKenzie and I were walking the Ebey's Bluff Trail, Whidbey Island, on Saturday when we saw a spout. Very near the shore off of Perego's Lake. I believe it was a single gray. It only spouted and rolled so we never saw the fluke. Was there over an hour about 4 - 5pm.
Nancy Zaretzke, Greenbank
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4:30pm to 5:10pm, Rietta spotted a gray whale blow mid-channel in front of Tulalip Shores. The whale was heading North still mid-channel until reaching Spee-bi-dah Bay, at which point it turned into Spee-be-dah and we lost sight of him.
Rietta Costa, Jim and Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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One, and possibly two (although two were never seen simulataneously) gray whales (see above photo) spotted at 3:00 PM, at the north end of Perego's Lagoon (Ebey's Landing), west side of Whidbey Island. Approximately 150 feet off shore. Presumably feeding since the whale(s) remained in the same area for an extended period of time, and they were over what appeared to be a submerged bar trailing to the NW from the most seaward point of the sandbar forming Perego's Lagoon. Lattitude 48 deg 12.156 minutes N, longitude 122 deg 44.335 minutes W.
Andy Valaas, Bellevue, WA
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What a delightful day at Ebey's Landing (W. Whidbey Island). We saw a gray whale feeding along the shore next to PEREGO'S Lagoon today, at about 1:00pm. This whale was out there for several hours and seemed to be heading slightly north. So close to shore and so fun to watch.
Kimberly George, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, Island Athletic Club
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8:30 a.m. Gray whale moving south near Pebble Beach, Camano Island.
Rand/Gail Nilsson

February 19, 2010

While on patrol USS Cape St George spotted an Orca pod.
1.A. TIME THE ORCA POD WAS SPOTTED:1425
1.B. THE DIRECTION IT WAS TRANSITING: West
1.C. THE LOCATION IT WAS SPOTTED (LAT/LONG): 4828N/12438W (N. of Neah Bay, at entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca)
1.D. THE NUMBER IN THE POD SPOTTED: 4
LT Johnny Graves, USS Cape St George CG 71

February 18, 2010

Here are a couple pictures from about 3:00 to 4:30 PM, this Humpback mingled with us about a mile south of Possession. It's a young whale, about 30 feet in length. I've read the recent Humpback sightings in Puget Sound but have seen no photos. So here you go, proof that it is really here direct from the Whale Whisperer, Mukilteo, WA.
Rob Miller
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A gray was observed at 3:30pm, mid-channel Port Susan, in front of Tulalip Shores, headed north. We observed one whale spouting every 2-3 minutes.
Vicki & Jim Mattson, Tulalip Shores

February 17, 2010

2:45pm, one possibly two gray whales were spotted approximately 1/2 mile off Tulalip Shores, traveling SouthEast toward Tulalip Bay. The whale(s) did not appear to be feeding, but rather moving along with some purpose.
Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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Transient orca T14, "Pender" off Victoria going East to Trial Island, 1117 today.
Ron Bates, MMRG, Victoria B.C.
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The T030's and T172 were off of Victoria all day. T014 was within a mile of them in the morning but continued on to the east and then north through Oak Bay in the afternoon.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, Victoria B.C.

February 16, 2010

Chad Kaiser called Orca Network to report a probable Gray whale off Point No Point, N. Kitsap Peninsula at 10:30 pm. It was so close to the beach, ~25', he could see it, it was heading north, had no dorsal fin, just bumps on its back (Gray whales have "knuckles" rather than dorsal fins).
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In the afternoon I found the T060's and T02B south of Saltspring Island heading into Saanich Inlet.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, Victoria B.C.

February 15, 2010

We were just NW of Shilshole Marina and sighted a small pod of porpoise, maybe 5 total. The time was 4:02 p.m. and the pod was heading North.
Helen Jackson
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Orca Network received a call from Veronica von Allworden reporting 2 Gray whales off N. Langley at 11:30 am, heading north. One of the whales looked like it could have been #53 (see Cascadia Research's Gray whale ID guide here). They were 1/4 of the way out in the passage, heading NW. At noon, they were traveling side by side, closer to the Camano Island side.
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Fred Lundahl of Langley called Orca Network to report 3 Gray whales in Saratoga Passage, closer to the Camano Island side at 12:20 pm, heading NW. The Langley "Whale Bell" was rung for the first time this year!
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John Herman called Orca Network at 12:15 pm to relay a 2nd hand report of a possible Minke Whale (humpback? See below) off Point No Point.
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At 2:20pm we were at Point No Point beach and sighted, along with many others, a large whale surfacing about 40 yards offshore from the eastern edge of PNP. It was traveling NW at a slow pace. It would surface, then we'd see a dorsal fin, then the fluke. It did this several times each time it surfaced. We thought it might be a minke because it didn't seem as mottled as a grey. But on looking online, it seems it could have been a humpback and I read there was another hump spotted a few days ago. Thanks
TJ McCue
Since this whale was observed fluking, it wouldn't be a Minke, so sounds like it is possibly the Humpback sighted recently in Puget Sound - ON

February 14, 2010

Patty Michak of Hansville called to report a pod of orcas passing Point No Point, N. Kitsay Peninsula at 5:30 pm tonight. She heard them blowing but didn't see them, but some neighbors saw them and identified them as orcas, heading south and moving quickly.
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We had our resident Transients the T030's with T172 again in the afternoon near Race Rocks east bound.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
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Well, he (Gray whale) was back again today. About 4 p.m. and he hung around out front feeding again. South of Sandy Point on the east side of Whidbey in front of Witter Beach Place. Enjoyed watching him for about 40 minutes. Happy Valentines Day! I found out from our neighbor that he (Gray whale) was out here this morning around ten too but we missed him. And then he came back this evening and we sat outside under our heater and watched and listened to him in the dark until 7'ish - just magical!
Sharon Wandler, Langley, Whidbey Island

February 13, 2010

10:00am. We are watching a gray whale pass by Tulalip Shores about 1/2 mile offshore, headed north, and going even further away from shore as it heads towards the point off Spee-be-dah.
Vicki & Jim Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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Spotted a whale around 3:00pm, between Steilacoom and McNeil Island.
Eric Thomson
Possibly the humpback that's been around Puget Sound?

February 12, 2010

At about 3:15 my husband spotted a gray whale out in front of of our place. We are at Witter Beach Place just south of Sandy Point (So. of Langley). He was feeding and spy hopping and heading north towards Sandy Point and Langley.
Sharon Wandler, Langley, Whidbey Island

February 11, 2010

Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called at 1440 reporting Transient orca calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophones.
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1324: A couple faint calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophones, can't tell who.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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1 Gray Whale, small/medium size breached at Sunrise Beach Public access dive site north of Gig Harbor (lat/long: 47.348168;-122.555816) at 1045AM. Appeared to be heading North up Colvos Passage.
William Morris, WDFW

February 9, 2010

Just spotted a gray whale blowing across Port Susan from Tulalip Shores. Headed south near Camano Island at 3:15 PM.
Jim & Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores WA
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We received the two following reports of a whale near Pt. Defiance late in the afternoon - guesses as to species are possible orca or gray whale, but given the recent sighting of a Humpback whale in the Seattle area, and the diving/fluking pattern, it is possible these are sightings of the humpback whale. -sb
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Today while sailing approx 1/2 mile North of Pt defiance, Tacoma, we spotted a Gray Whale about 35+ ft long. He seemed to be feeding during the changing tide between 1200 and 1500 hrs. It seemed to be flying solo with no hurry to go anywhere particular.
C.Dorsey
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One apparent orca spotted, 3:30 PM near Tacoma, between Owen Beach and Talequah ferry dock. Traveling west. Other walkers stopped to observe also on the seawall near Pt defiance boat house. Came up for 5-6 breaths, then down for 3-4 minutes for each cycle, last breath of each series showing fluke. Watched for 5 cycles. Did not have binoc's to get any detail.
Roxanne

February 8, 2010

I found the T030's and T172 (Transient orcas) east bound south of Race Rocks in a resting formation @ 1445.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, Victoria, B.C.
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Spotted a gray whale about 50 yards from the beach at Tulalip Shores, about 5:00 PM or so.
Jim & Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores WA

February 7, 2010

In the afternoon a gray was slowly circling around the west side of Gedney (Hat) Island. Appeared to be alone, in no rush.
Bg & Leslie Tanzer /du Mystere
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Had the T030's with T172 a few miles south of Victoria harbor. They were first spotted at 1045 and still there hunting seals at 1550.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

February 6, 2010

We were kayaking north of hood head and hood canal bridge, just south of driftwood key and saw a small whale in shallow water. I thought it might be small grey whale. It surfaced several times while we were launching from shore. It was a low tide, about 3:30 pm and we were at the water's edge and the whale was about 30 yards off.
TJ McCue
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3:06 PM - Shilshole in background for location - we saw it initially about an hour earlier moving to the southwest, same general area, then again moving back to the north/northeast. Looking like a humpback from what I've seen online and from talking to people. Was about 30' long and about 10' wide from what we could see - never saw the tail.
Tim Ogden (via Brooke Nelson, Seattle)
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At about 2:10pm I and a few other happy spotters saw what we speculate was a solitary Minke (possibly a humpback) just offshore from Shilshole Marina in Ballard. We were up on the cliff at Sunset Hill Park. One watcher had binoculars, but from that distance all we could see was a small dorsal and the blow. The whale surfaced multiple times as it headed south. It disappeared for a few minutes, then reappeared a bit farther offshore. A nice bit of magic on an already beautiful sunny afternoon.
Wendy Walker, Seattle
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I saw what I believe to be the Minke whale (possibly a humpback) from the lighthouse at Discovery park (looking towards Golden Gardens) diving at around noon . I saw it dive once but did not see it resurface. It was black/dark colored.
Matt Purcell
We have received emails from Matt Purcell & Margi Hartnett confirming that their sightings were of the humpback after looking at the photo posted in the last whale report. -sb

February 5, 2010

We found over 25 Transients just East of Race Rocks !!!! I.D.'s included: T-30's, T-86A's, T-87 with T-88, T-90 and T-90B, T-100's with new calf T-100E, T-101's with T-102, T-172, and the T-124A's with new calf T-124A4 !!! Flat calm seas, sunny, warm and lots of whales.
Jeff Lamarche (Eagle Wing Tours - onboard Prince of whales with Mallard)
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I found the big group of Transient orcas that have been around the past few days again today this time east bound in 3 groups near Race Rocks at 1430.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales, Victoria B.C.
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6:35 am: Very faint calls at Lime Kiln hydrophone - sounds like the Transients again?
Suzy Roebling, Florida
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Hearing faint calls on Lime kiln Hydrophones - 6:39 am.
Cathy Bacon, Texas
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I'm visiting my parents who live near Belfair on the South Shore of Hood Canal. At about 3:30 we were looking out towards the water and by god a grey whale blew! My folks have lived here for nearly 60 years and this is the first I've ever seen on this far end of the Canal. It was obviously feeding and moving slowly. One whale and not large as close as I could tell.
Ginger Miller, Whidbey Island
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I'm not an expert, but I think this might have been that Grey Whale that has been seen around these parts. 1 whale, traveling south at 2:12:26 PM PST, sighted from Golden Gardens Beach (near Shilshole). It was going South, blew a short and wide spray that persisted no more than a second, and quickly submerged again. The dorsal fin was short and devoid of markings that I could see. It seemed to appear in the same general area several times over the next fifteen minutes, always traveling south as it surface, but never appearing farther south. As such, I wasn't sure if this was several animals or one. At one point I thought I got a good look at what seemed like a small black dolphin to my untrained eyes. I never saw any large dorsal fins or black/white markings or large numbers that I would expect with Orca.
Joe Melberg

February 4, 2010

Nice Transient calls on Pt. Townsend hydrophone at just before midnight at about 23:45.
Val Veirs, The Whale Museum/OrcaSound, San Juan Island
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Brad Hanson of NOAA Fisheries NWFSC called with a report tonight. After receiving the call from Orca Network, they were able to get out in the NOAA boat and found the transient orcas in two groups in the vicinity of Point No Point, N. Kitsap Peninsula this afternoon, observing a sea lion kill. They were successful in deploying satellite tags on T100B & T100C, and will be posting maps of their movements on the Cascadia Research website in the next few days. They left the orcas at around 4:30 pm, the orcas were heading both north and south.
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Dick and I left the whales at 4.15 pm, still in two groups, one to the south of Foulweather Bluff, one to the north. Those 'at the south end' were in the vicinity of two boats (NOAA maybe?) and less distinct. Those 'at the north end' were making their way slowly north, and appeared to be foraging or milling with some breaching and spyhopping behavioural activity.
Sandra Pollard & Dick Snowberger, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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Ivan Reiff of Western Prince whale watch called at 4:15 pm to report he had been flying from San Juan Island to Seattle, and timed it right to see the pod of orcas between Point No Point (N. Kitsap Peninsula) & Double Bluff (Whidbey Isl) at about 3:45 pm. There were ~10 north of Pt. No Point, and a few more south of Pt. No Point, and he observed them making a kill. The NOAA boat was with the whales.
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John Fortin of Hansville called to report 3 orcas between Foulweather Bluff and Bush Pt, including a male, a female and a calf at 3:45 pm. He reported 2 boats and the KOMO news chopper on site.
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This is Heather Hoins on Marrowstone - I just saw them (orcas) as well - 3:30 pm - they appear to be going in small circles - right smack in the middle of the shipping channel - I only saw 3 maybe 4 individuals and no male. Heather also called in a report of 4 orcas, including 1 male, off S. Marrowstone at 11:58 am, heading south, nearing Foulweather Bluff.
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I have them (the orcas) at Double Bluff at 3:20. Looks like maybe a half dozen transients, including at least one juve?
John Herman
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After receiving a call from Rick Huey of orcas southbound in Admiralty Inlet, we headed over to Bush Pt. to see if we could find and ID them. At around 10:20 am we caught our first glimpse of the orcas - a male, 2 females and a calf midway down Marrowstone Island heading south. At 11:05 am another group of 4 - 5 came through, closer to the Whidbey side. At 11:07 we spotted more whales to the north heading our way! 11:15 am, we spotted 6 - 7 orcas just north of Bush Pt, circling & hunting close to the Whidbey side. 11:30 am, the last large group (we thought....) was heading south past Bush Pt. At 11:45 am, ~6 orcas were in a resting line between Skunk Bay and Mutiny Bay, heading south. At 11:50 am, the last group was off Foulweather Bluff (~10+). At this point we estimated we'd seen 16 - 20 whales total. Then, at noon, we saw 8+ blows way on the other side off Foulweather Bluff & the entrance to Hood Canal. At 12:15 pm we saw 6 blows off Foulweather Bluff - all whales seemed to be traveling south at a good pace, & were moving out of our line of sight, so we headed back home - after having observed 25+ orcas pass by! After viewing our photos and video, we were able to confirm our suspicions that this was the pod of 27 Transients observed off Victoria B.C. on Weds. What a thrill to get to see them all - a rare Transient Superpod!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Pat Scott of Bush Pt, Whidbey Island called to report 5 - 6 orcas, including 1 calf off Bush Pt, heading south toward Mutiny Bay at 10:25 am.
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Orca Network received a call from a woman reporting orcas off Lagoon Pt, Whidbey Island at 10:15 am heading south.
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Karen Edelblute called Orca Network at 9:56 am to report 4 orcas off N. Lagoon Pt., mid-channel, heading south toward Bush Pt.
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Rick Huey of Washington State Ferries called Orca Network at 9:15 am to report observing several orcas mid-channel off Marrowstone Island, heading south. Rick called again at 10:30 am to report another group of 4 - 6 orcas heading past the haul out off Marrowstone Island, heading south, closer to the east side of Admiralty Inlet.
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We did see Transient orca T100's calf and a lot of rolling around with the prey. We are pretty certain it was a minke from our photos.
Candi Emmons, NOAA Fisheries NWFSC, Seattle
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Not sure what kind of whale I saw (still green at whale ID), but it crossed in front of the ferry while it was still docked at Mukilteo around 3:30 p.m. It was dark colored, short dorsal fin and I saw its back surface several times. It was alone as far as I could tell.
Margi Hartnett, Clinton, WA

We have received emails from Matt Purcell & Margi Hartnett confirming that their sightings were of the humpback after looking at the photo posted in the last whale report -sb.

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At 10:30am a gray was spotted traveling south about 100 yards off shore directly in front of Tulalip Shores. We heard and saw the gray surface twice before it was out of sight. About about 4 minutes elapsed between the two sightings. The last time it sufaced and gave two quick blows and then dove, exposing the tail.
Vicki & Jim Mattson, Tulalip Shores

February 3, 2010

Feb. 2 - 3 - Throughout the day and night of 2 February, and in the morning of 3 February, transient killer whale calls were intermittently heard on the Lime Kiln hydrophone, but no whales could be seen by observers from San Juan Island, until at 0830 Jeanne Hyde spotted fins on the Canadian side of the border near Kelp reef. Ken Balcomb and Mark Malleson headed out in r/v "Orca" from Oak Bay, Canada and encountered a large group of transient killer whales very close to shore just north of Baynes Channel. Within two hours they photo-identified 27 individuals, including new calves T100E and T124A4, as the whales dispersed in matrilineal groups and hunted for marine mammals south of Victoria, BC. An oily patch near them at Constance Bank at 1230 suggested they had found at least one seal. In the afternoon, the whales turned toward the east as if heading toward Dungeness Spit. Mark and Ken preliminarily identified 27 whales in the evening, and Dave Ellifrit confirmed: the T30's, T86's, T87, T88, T90's, T100's, T101's, T102, T124's, T124A's, and T172 - a Superpod of transients!
Center for Whale Research, more photos here
Postscript: Brad Hanson and Greg Schorr went out aboard the NWFSC research boat on 4 February when this large group of transients ventured into Puget Sound, and they applied satellite tags to two individuals (T100B and T100C). These two whales (and perhaps some of their colleagues) have since traveled from Puget Sound to Georgia Strait off Nanaimo, to the east of Cortes Island, back to Nanaimo, down to the south of Saltspring Island, back up almost to Campbell River, and by February 11 are off Texada Island heading back south! Mark Malleson, meanwhile has found the T30's and T172 off Victoria, so the superpod has apparently dispersed.
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Mark Malleson and I have made a preliminary review of our photos and it appears that there were 27 Transients, including the new calf of T100 which Graeme Ellis and Jared Towers have given the designation T100E. Great day!
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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I started hearing Transient calls again this morning just before 6 a.m. The calls continued and continued, something that seemed unusual for transients. As it turned out I found the Ts at about 8:30 a.m. coming south 4+ miles from shore and 1+ miles south of Kelp Reef - there were evidently more whales behind them and that would explain the sounds on the hydrophones, which ended at about 9:30 a.m. I went out the Jim Maya this afternoon and we saw the transients south of Race Rocks. After arriving they turned and headed back in toward Pt. Angeles. There was pinkish calf in the group. There were a lot - at least 15. I have posted some pics from the day on my blog. I also posted a recording - one of the calls sequences it sounds like there are a bunch of cats fighting - very interesting.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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One just had to be out on the water this special day when it was reported that a big group pf Transients were heading this way past Oak Bay, Victoria BC. Mark Malleson and Ken Balcomb were out there first in the morning, so by 2pm when the Prince of Whales zodiac, skippered by Mark, left the harbour I was wondering which direction those whales might be traveling and how much distance they had made. Luckily the exact location was known and we found them south and east of Race Rocks in American waters. It was impressive to see so many Transients together. Initially, we found them in resting formation, and then doing what transients do best, Zig-Zagging all over. It was lovely to see a brand new calf with the T100's. Eventually we left them while they headed back east. It was an amazing sight to see so many transients together.
Marie, Orca-Magic, Prince of Whales, Victoria BC.
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Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called at 12:35 pm to report 20 - 25 Transient orcas in Oak Bay, Victoria. They observed at least 1 kill.
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5:51 am: very faint transient calls being heard on Lime Kiln hydrophones, San Juan Isl.
5:58 am: loud calls on OrcaSound now.
8:12 am: There they are again.
8:33 am: visual on Transient orcas going down - 4+ miles from shore 1+ m south of Kelp reef marker - visual of 4 fins up at same time.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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7:40 am: The WHO_listener automatic detection started picking up orca calls at Lime Kiln at 4:21 this morning. By 5:03 the detections had shifted to OrcaSound where many calls were recorded up until 6:33.
Val Veirs, OrcaSound/The Whale Museum
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I am a new user of the hydrophone network, but this morning, from about 0910 to 0920 Eastern Time (0610 - 0620 Pacific time), I heard some echolocation coming from the hydrophones at both Lime Kiln and the OrcaSound hydrophone on San Juan Island. The calls were stronger at the OrcaSound hydrophone, not Lime Kiln, but came in stronger at Lime Kiln towards the end of my listening bout. I am not certain these are killer whales; like I said, I am a new listener and cannot identify everything I hear. But this is the first time I have ever heard anything of note on the hydrophone network, and I am excited about it.
John Rohrback
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Transient calls loud and clear on both Lime Kiln and OrcaSound hydrophones at 6:23 am.
Cathy Bacon, Marine Mammal Research Assistant
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0615 PST - ORCA'S LOUD AT LIME KILN.
Lon Brocklehurst

February 2, 2010

At 12:16 I began picking up transient calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones. Most were faint but within the next 1/2 hour the volume increased a surprising amount on a couple of the calls.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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1342 PST I hear faint Orca call at Lime Kiln. I have been hearing calls for about a hour or so -- in and out depending on the back ground noise.
Lon Brocklehurst




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