A day of surreal beauty ~ Residents and Bigg’s (Transient) Orcas and Humpback Whales!

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Today’s Sightings: Northern Resident Orcas, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions hauled out and swimming++, Harbour Seals, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes+, Common Murres, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons, Black Turnstones and Gull species.

It was a wonderful day, beginning with sightings of incoming orcas (I15’s) who were seen in very foggy conditions. We had good visuals of the I4s, of I4 and I76 in particular! Their G-Clan vocals heard via our hydrophone were fabulous to listen to and so different to the A-Clan vocals that we have been hearing throughout the summer. There were four Humpback Whales seen this morning and while we were stopped and listening for blows in the fog, one surprised us when it surfaced and then dived under the boat, a surreal experience for all of us to see it passing nearby in the white void of the fog!

On the afternoon tour, we were surprised to find orcas nearby just as we were departing from Alder Bay. How incredible it was to see the 6-7 Orcas passing to the west and quickly so for they were travelling fast! Identified were the T109s (T109, T109B with a new calf), T012A was also identified.

There were four Humpback Whales seen on the afternoon tour and a Steller Sea Lion was swimming nearby the boat with many seen hauled out. Increasing numbers of Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres were observed in the vicinity today and cloud like flocks of Red-Necked Phalaropes were more abundant as well.

The sunshine this afternoon felt so good after the stillness and dampness of the morning fog but all of it was breathtaking and beautiful!

Photo Credits: Muriel Halle. All photos have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.

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