SAIL WITH THE WHALES – WILDLIFE UPDATE July 20, 2011
The fog lingered awhile this morning making it difficult to scan far into the distance but with a report of A5 resident orcas traveling east early this morning past the Boat Bay Light and later off Milly Island, we headed instead out into the Queen Charlotte Strait. With the fog clearing we began to see flocks of birds, mostly rhinoceros auklets but also marbled murrelets, common murres and red-necked phalaropes. As we watched, numerous Bald Eagles had gathered and began fishing, flying in with their talons ready to snatch one or more of the small fish when their talons hit the water. The skillful flying antics were observed as we drifted quietly nearby when suddenly a minke whale was sighted by one of our passengers, it too was feeding on what we believed to be herring. It was fabulous viewing and enjoyed by all as we sat back watching the spectacle unfold, the only boat in the area, we felt a real sense of ‘connectedness’ as the species worked together to feed. Traveling down into Blackfish Sound pacific white-sided dolphins could be seen ahead of us, they were on a feeding frenzy as well. Two large humpback whales were sighted further ahead making their way towards us and as they came near, we could not help but feel their peaceful presence, two beautiful whales, swimming side by side, synchronized, they surfaced and dived simultaneously, it was mesmerizing watch. What an amazing day it was with such an array of species sighted, all coming together to feast on the small schooling fish that looked to be in abundance today. It is the first day that we have witnessed so much seabird activity in the area with herring balls worked by the birds, it is a good sign that summer is progressing. Other sightings today included: dall’s porpoises, harbour seals, pigeon guillemots, white-winged scoters, mew gulls and california gulls, two eaglets in separate nests. A fabulous day indeed!

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