Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Just after leaving the harbor for our 2.00pm tour today we heard reports of Transient Orcas being spotted between Salmon Bank and Middle Banks off the west side of San Juan Island. As we arrived on scene we soon realized this was the same group of Transient Orcas we had seen the two previous days, T14 with the T36's and T49's. The weather was perfect for watching the Orcas move across Haro Strait and we could clearly see them above and below the water due to the ideal conditions. At times the group seemed to be moving very slowly as if in resting mode and were surfacing & diving almost in unison. It was an incredible experience!
After watching the Orcas for a while we also headed to the Chain Islands where we saw several Harbor Seals, with many looking like they are about to give birth. A number of Harlequin Ducks and Cormorants were also observed at Chain Islands.
Our final stop was at Trial Island where we saw more Harbor Seals, including a couple of Seals swimming in the water. We also saw more Harlequin Ducks and a Bald Eagle.
With the sun shining and the calm conditions, it was a magical day to be on the water and watching the amazing wildlife!
N.B. Please note that all images were taken using a 300mm lens and have been cropped and edited.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here are just a few examples of the amazing Transient Orca encounter we had today with T14 "Pender", the T36's and T49's. The Orcas were first encountered south east of Darcy Island and were observed moving south in Haro Strait.
Apart from the Orcas we also saw Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles (both Adult & juveniles), Harlequin Ducks, Cormorants and Black Oyster Catchers.
It was an incredible trip and a fantastic way to enjoy my birthday:)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Above & Below, T14 "Pender" close to Victoria, in fact in the lower picture you can see Ogden Point in the background.
What a magical day to be on the water with gorgeous weather, calm seas and stunning wildlife! By 8.30 this morning we had already received reports of Orcas sighted off Victoria Waterfront. We soon discovered that it was 3 groups of Transient Orcas, T14 "Pender" the T36's and T49's, a total of 8 Orcas! Included in the group were 2 calfs, one of which was born withing the last 12 months.
Having the Orcas so close to Victoria meant that we could spend a lot of quality time observing these top Ocean predators. At first the 3 groups were spread out but we noticed T14 travelling in the direction of the other Orcas and eventually join up with them. As we continued to observe we noticed T14 and one of the females in very close contact and we could see them touching and rubbing against each other, possible signs of mating behavior. It was breathtaking to see this intimate behavior!
Apart from the Orcas we also visited Race Rocks MPA and saw several Steller & California Sealions as well as at least 9 and possibly 10 Northern Elephant Seals. There were also a large number of Harbor Seals on the nearby rocks, plus Harlequin Ducks, Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres.
It really does not get much better than this:)