A Trio of Orcas: A60, A61 & A85 ~ superb viewing!

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What a day we all shared on the water and a wonderful one at that. While fog hung low around us this morning, we travelled cautiously, weighing up our options. A30 vocals had been heard via the Flower Island hydrophone ahead of our departing on tour, placing them somewhere in the fog in Blackfish Sound on an ebbing current while the A23’s and A25’s had been reported passing under the cliff opposite to the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, they too were in a fog bank. We had thought to take the Blackfish Sound route but decided to stay in Johnstone Strait and made our way slowly along the Hanson Island shoreline, hoping to encounter the A23’s and A25’s who it seemed had carried on past Blackney Passage and were making their way slowly westward. Believing the Orcas to still be ahead of us, we cut our engine, intending to listen for blows ahead of us and were totally surprised to see A60 swimming along the shoreline, eastbound; we had obviously passed him in the fog. He was foraging intensely and we all enjoyed observing him nearby and soon A61 and A85 had joined him. They formed a trio and were observed resting quietly for a short time before turning back to the east and then again to the west. While their A-clan calls were beautiful to listen to it was puzzling to see only three orcas and not six. The remaining three orcas of the A23’s (the A43’s) were later reported being near  Kaikash Beach on Vancouver Island and this was where A60, A61 and A85 crossed over to and joining up with the A43’s, they all made their way east and into the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve.  Our viewing was a really interesting and intimate one, the three Orcas beautifully portrayed in clearing fog conditions and in the company of a small group of Pacific white-sided Dolphins who persisted in jostling amongst the Orcas especially around A85. The dolphins would playfully ride at our bow before moving off, it was extraordinary and fun having them with us. Turning back, we enjoyed more wonderful moments when a group of Dalls Porpoises also joined us, riding at the bow of the boat for a considerable time, it was exciting viewing for everyone. Also seen today: Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, a Double Crested Cormorant, Belted Kingfishers, Black Oyster Catchers, Common Murres, Bald Eagles, Glaucous -winged, Mew, California and Herring Gulls.

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One thought on “A Trio of Orcas: A60, A61 & A85 ~ superb viewing!

  1. A truly wonderful morning and early afternoon… thank you so much for all of it! I wouldn’t have missed this for anything. 🙂

    I have a fine spy-hop shot (lucky timing, bigtime!) and a couple of very good ones of the trio circling close together, as well as some good shots of this one or that one alone, *and* a couple of my close porpoise shots (you captured me taking one in a photo above) are excellent… by my lights anyhow: I’ve been this close to porpoises before and *much* closer to greys, but never with a camera. Is there any easy way I can share the (very few) best of those photos with you folks?

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