Bubble net feeding Humpback whales, Orcas and so much more!

 

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August 20th

Our sightings: Orca, Humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Black Turnstones, a Wandering Tattler, Red-necked Phalaropes, Kingfishers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Black Oystercatchers and various Gull species.

It was a day of feasting bubble-net feeding Humpbacks. The overcast but calm weather provided excellent whale viewing conditions. Blows were seen from miles away and when a whale’s limb appeared above the surface, whether it was a tail, head or pectoral fin, it too could be easily seen from a fair distance away.

Bubble net feeding is a technique that has only in recent years been observed in these waters. In early summer, only one whale was seen using this technique and now we are witnessing an additional whale. Lucky and Moonstar are our bubble-net feeding masters and they are a delight to watch.

Having observed Lucky using this method throughout the summer, it seems as though this whale has refined it’s feeding technique. The circular bubble nets created, seems tighter and smaller with an additional circle created in the centre. Perhaps this is helping concentrate the bait-ball of fish even more. Lunging through the centre of this circle of bubbles is energetically athletic. On tour today we witnessed a Stellar sea lion feasting in the same net of bubbles, it made for some extraordinary viewing!

Throughout the day our guests did not know which way to turn their heads as numerous Humpback blows were seen in all directions. Some whales were foraging on their own while a few pairs were seen travelling together. Orcas showed up in the latter part of the day so we indulged in some fantastic viewing of these black and white beauties.

Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s have been taken by Dave Jones using a telephoto lens and have been cropped. The Bald Eagle and photo’s of guests onboard were taken by Robin Quirk and have been cropped as well.

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