In the company of gentle giants ~ it was extraordinary!

IMG_1479 IMG_1480 IMG_1514 IMG_1528 IMG_1501 IMG_1531 IMG_1539 IMG_1559 IMG_1563 IMG_1566 IMG_1568 IMG_1577 IMG_1588 IMG_1592 IMG_1603 IMG_1605 IMG_1615 We enjoyed another fabulous day of viewing Humpback Whales and while fog was present in the early part of our tour, we watched mesmerized as it cleared in waves, drifting back in momentarily, it would clear again  enabling us to view numerous whales moving about Upper Blackfish Sound and our viewing became mystical and calculating while listening for their blows when not seeing them in the fog. We also listened to the penguin-like calls and cries of Common Murres, and the frenzied activity of gulls feeding on the herring being driven up to the surface by the ever-present diving birds, Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets, enabling the gulls to also take advantage to feed whilst the herring shimmered on the surface of the water. As the ebbing current slackened, the humpback whale feeding intensified as bait balls began forming again and again with increasing bird activity.  It was exciting and phenomenal to watch, all of us with focussed anticipation, waiting for a whale to surface, all the while observing how their exceedingly large sleek bodies could move with rapid acceleration and momentum when lunging up through the herring (and gathered birds) seemingly out of nowhere! As well as lunge feeding and their constant cruising through areas where diving birds had gathered, we observed one whale coming up through a herring ball and hang suspended at the surface, opening and closing its mouth wide as its food source entered at the same time pirouetting its head around, we all watched fully immersed and intrigued by this extraordinary feeding behaviour. Including seeing Slash and her calf Stitch, we were very fortunate in seeing 8+ Humpback Whales today. Also seen: Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Dall’s Porpoises with one bow riding briefly alongside on our way back into Alert Bay at the end of the tour, Sooty Shearwaters ++++, Pacific Loons, Red-necked Phalaropes, Ancient Murrelets, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Glaucous-winged, Herring, Mew and Bonaparte Gulls.

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