Today’s Sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Humpback Whales, Dall’s Porpoises, one Harbour Porpoise, Steller Sea Lions hauled out and swimming, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Black Turnstones and Gull species.
The weather did not disappoint us today and neither did our sightings of Orcas. They were the same two family groups that we have seen in recent days, the A30s and A42s. We encountered them travelling slowly west on the ebbing current in Blackfish Sound. They were milling around and briefly stalled just west of Flower Island, it was near Bold Head they appeared to gather more speed. Perhaps they were waiting for the current to turn back to flood and for them to turn back east once more was a thought that occurred to us but we will have to wait and see!
During our viewing of orcas, we also encountered seven or more Humpback Whales; three were in Blackfish Sound, two (possibly more) we sighted off Bold Head and at least two more near Stubbs Island. They were all on the move looking for food as were the birds common to our area at this time of the year. It was good to finally see a herring ball with gulls feeding upon it for the scarcity of bait balls and birds this year is of great concern to everyone.
The food chain from which all ocean species feed on, big and small, appears to have many links that are missing in our local waters this year! The sightings of Rhinoceros Auklets are very few and Common Murres are barely seen, just a single one or two can be observed on occasion. When compared to hundreds, if not thousands usually seen at this same time last year and years before, something is seriously wrong!
It was a special treat today to have a small group of Dall’s Porpoises ride alongside and at our bow briefly, we also saw another group rooster-tailing along in the current, they are so fast! The blue ocean sparkled in the bright sunlight and fluffy white clouds drifted on in a gorgeous blue sky, it was a beautiful day that we all enjoyed.
Photo Credits: Muriel Halle and Seasmoke Whale Watching. Photos taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.