A number of orcas were reported foraging at Lizard Point when we headed out on tour this morning. En route to viewing the orcas the blow of a humpback whale was sighted in the distance near Parsons Light in Blackfish Sound, a group of Pacific White-sided dolphins were also in the area. We continued heading west sighting at first a single tall dorsal fin on the horizon of a glassy calm sea and parallel to Lizard Point. The visibility was excellent for sighting far into the distance and as we drew nearer the first orca to be identified was A12, a 69 year old female. The other two male northern resident orcas also seen were A37 & A46 and it was wonderful to watch the beautiful dynamics of these three orcas. A12, a matriline who last year had lost her son (he was reported missing from the family in early spring) foraging with the two remaining brothers of the A36’s who had lost their own mother several years ago. For much of last summer A12 was observed spending most days with the A36’s and separate from her daughter A34 and offspring, especially in the final weeks of summer and early fall. Today’s first sighting of resident orcas for this summer was a joyous one and yet there was sadness also as missing from the trio of brothers was the eldest brother A32. Today’s viewing showed the orcas to be relaxed, foraging steadily and some resting behaviour was also observed; there were no vocalizations at the time of our viewing. On the way back to Alert Bay a large Minke whale was also seen. Other species seen today: Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres and Bald Eagles.

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