Fabulous Humpback Whales, Orcas and bow-riding Dalls Porpoises ~ a magical day of viewing!

IMG_8033 IMG_8038 IMG_8039 IMG_8052 IMG_8058 IMG_8059 IMG_8065 IMG_8071 IMG_8087 IMG_8101 IMG_8115 IMG_8133 IMG_8138 IMG_8150 IMG_8151 IMG_8159 A magical day of viewing Cetaceans! What a day we enjoyed beginning in Weynton Passage when we sighted our first Humpback Whale, however that soon all changed with the sighting of several more whales, a count of three that soon became four and then five, swimming around us as the boat sat idle and drifting in the current.  We observed some lunge feeding and feeding behaviour where a whale simply opened its mouth wide like a flycatcher then closing it, swallowing the small fish within the wide cavity of its mouth and straining out the water through its baleen pleates. Unbelievably at one point we watched as it gently opened its mouth and out flew a gull that had been trapped within the large cavity (see photo insert) ; thankfully the gull appeared unharmed as it flew off! It was simply wonderful watching the dynamics of the whales as well as the Stellar Sea-lions that were hauled out nearby, they were obviously dwarfed by the whales but looked quite spectacular and charismatic regardless. Two young newly fledged Eaglets we observed were sitting together on a rocky out-crop not far from their nest, their ever watchful parents were nearby overseeing their movements. Flying back to their nest, it is still where they go to be fed by their parents. Travelling in Blackfish Sound we sighted three more Humpback Whales which added greatly to our day’s outing. Our encounter with the Orca’s was very impressive and near to Turn Point in Upper Johnstone Strait. The A5 pods ( A23’s, A25’s and A8’s) were all spread-out in their family groups and eventually made their way out through Weynton Passage, we watched them go by and also listened to their A-Clan vocal calls via our hydrophone and then began heading home via the Stephensen Islands, viewing Harbour Seals and Gulls (some newly fledged) and a single Double Crested Cormorant who appears very much at home amongst the gulls, we have often seen this same bird in the last few weeks. Our day was not quite done when a small group of Dall’s Porpoises joined us at the bow of the boat, riding along for quite some time, much to the pleasure of everyone, especially the children onboard. Also seen today: Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Red-necked Phalaropes, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Mew, Glaucous-winged, Herring and California Gulls.

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