Orcas ~ A30’s, A8’s and a Minke Whale

IMG_7244 IMG_7237 IMG_7233 IMG_7230 IMG_7227 IMG_7214 IMG_7198 IMG_7177 IMG_7154 IMG_7121 IMG_7112 IMG_7111 IMG_7096What a beautiful sunrise, the full moon lingering late, allowing us to enjoy the magic and beauty of the full Blue Moon. We encountered Orcas this morning near the Sophia Islands in Johnstone Strait, two groups heading west, the A8’s and the A30’s with the A8’s just ahead of the A30’s with A39 well in the lead of his family. Both groups were silent, travelling slowly in resting lines, the A8’s close along the West Cracroft Island shoreline, the A30’s more distant and out beyond the Baron Reefs as they slowly made their way west. At one point a very fast-moving boat was also seen travelling to the west directly towards the A30’s not seeing them but thankfully it veered off towards the Vancouver Island side of the Strait just when the A30’s surfaced, we also observed at this time that A38 who was travelling close-knit with his sisters and their calves, positioned himself at the back of the family and on surfacing his fin was easily discernible to any approaching craft. The A8’s lingered a little in Blackney Passage, milling around before continuing on along the Hanson Island shoreline, they were still resting while the A30’s who had reached Cracroft Point, suddenly turned back and reforming a resting line, with the push of the flooding current, they began drifting back to the east. It was a sleepy mood for both groups of orcas during our viewing time and there were not any vocals heard while listening on our hydrophone.  Making our way back home, near Pearse Passage we had a surprising and close encounter with Bolt, one of the summer-time Resident Minke Whales in our area, it was a real treat to view the Minke Whale at such a close range, we observed it feeding along the edge of the flooding current in Pearse Passage. Also seen today: Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Ruddy Turnstones, Gulls++, some newly fledged and also non fledged gulls were also seen.

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