It was a bright and blustery day on the water with white-caps seen in sharp contrast to the blue and silver waters stretching before us as we headed out on tour this morning. It was near the north side of Weynton Passage that the large blow of a humpback whale was sighted and we headed in that direction. The whale was identified as Stripe BCZ0004, the same whale we had sighted yesterday and it was feeding in a wide circular pattern. Yesterday a single stellar sea lion had been observed hauled out and today there were two of them, as well one was seen swimming nearby. Todays NW wind also brought with it Red-necked Phalaropes++ a small wader bird that breeds in the summer in the Arctic regions of North America. Among phalaropes, the female has the brighter plumage and the male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. It is the females who arrive first on their migratory flight south and they were who we saw today; all of them in small flocks, flitting and swirling as they flew, landing lightly on the water surface to feed. They feed by swimming in circles forming a small whirlpool in the water, which is thought to draw up food from the underlying water. It was wonderful to see them for the first time this summer and fascinating to view them. Cruising home today through the tranquil island waterways it was quite a treat to view the bull kelp and trees sparkling in the sunshine. Other species also seen today: Harbour Seals, Pigeon Guillemots, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Belted Kingfishers and Bald Eagles++++.

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