Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales, Biggs (Transient) Orcas, a Minke Whale! Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets, Red-Necked Phalaropes, Common Murres, Marbled Murrelets, Black Oystercatchers, Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Belted Kingfishers, Sooty Shearwaters, Great Blue Herons and Gulls.
It was a great day for viewing Biggs (Transient) Orcas, but ahead of that, on our first tour our passengers were fortunate in seeing a Minke Whale right in front of Alert Bay! The Biggs (Transient) Orcas were the T059s + one other that was not identified; there were five orcas in total. They were taking long dives and went after a Steller Sea Lion unsuccessfully. They came very close to our boat in passing which was extremely surprising and also exciting as it is always difficult to determine when Transients will surface and where; their dive sequence is very unpredictable and we do not deliberately try to get close to them.
Four Humpback Whales were also observed, Freckles and Tag and a Mink on our way home that was seen scrambling along the rocky shoreline of a quiet waterway!
On the afternoon tour, more Biggs (Transient) Orcas were reported passing through the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve and were identified as T002B and T060B who were travelling together. They were taking long dives and swimming steadily to the west following along the Vancouver Island shoreline. They were seen passing by in front of Alert Bay at 5.30 p.m. this evening! Five Humpback Whales were observed feeding back and forth, along with a myriad of seabirds and Dall’s Porpoises while Steller Sea Lions and Harbour Seals were seen hauled out and swimming. It was indeed a marvellous day of viewing!
Photo credits: Muriel Halle. All photos have been taken with a telephoto lens and have been cropped.