Today’s sightings: Orca, Humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, Harbour seals, Bald Eagles, Black Turnstones, Red-necked Phalaropes, Kingfishers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murres, Black Oystercatchers and various Gull species.
Humpback whales, Orca, a partial eclipse and drifting Seasmoke were all highlights from our day of touring in this Northern Vancouver Island region today.
It was a cloudy, grey day but the colour dimmed even more so when a partial solar eclipse occurred while we were out on the water. This is when the moon passes between the earth and sun, blocking a portion of the sun. It seems as though a shadow from a huge mountain hovered above us and the entire area turned eerie quiet. Whether or not the whales and other animals could sense this event, we all thought about it and wondered.
Every day we see numerous Humpback whale blows on the distant horizon and everyday it seems the numbers are increasing. More feasting occurred today, the menu provided by the fragile food chain that needs to feed so many different species in this area. Orcas were also in the vicinity today and the A30’s and I15’s kept our guests company for a portion of each tour. In the morning the Orcas were travelling west in Blackfish Sound and by the afternoon they were easterly bound in Johnstone Strait. It is fascinating to watch the orcas spread out and forage with at times miles in between the individuals. When a turn from one individual is made, you suddenly glance through binoculars far across the Strait and realise that every single whale has turned. Perhaps it is telepathic or maybe one specific call was given by the matriarch, and so every whale is guided in this change of direction.
As we head into late summer, autumn only weeks away, we are seeing the first signs of migrating birds. Yesterday one of our birding guests identified an unusual bird for this region, a Wandering Tattler. The Stellar Sea Lions are growing in numbers and pretty soon we shall start seeing the Sooty Shearwaters gathering in large numbers, having a last feed before their impressively long journey to New Zealand.
We are entering into the part of the season that every year wins the hearts of all the locals who call this place home.
Seasmoke Whale Watching photo’s taken with a telephoto lens by Dave Jones have been cropped.