Residents and Transients All in One Day

It was an Orca of a day due to the spectacular sightings of both Resident and Transient (Biggs) killer whales.

Once again we set out in zero visibility which thankfully turned to patchy fog soon into our adventure. We could see at least a mile and a half in Blackfish Sound rather than the minimal visibility in Johnstone Strait, so we opted to explore Blackfish.

What a great choice this was. Beyond Bold Head we witnessed the most dynamic behaviour you could possibly encounter as a group of Biggs hunted, killed and fed on a Steller sea lion. This is nature at its wildest, an event that is not always easy to observe, however we all know that big eats little and the food chain must continue.

It was a dynamic display to watch as Orcas leaped out of the water to lunge towards the sea lion. The entire scene reminded us of a cat playing with a mouse, as they mischievously tossed their catch up and out of the water numerous times. Perhaps there were lessons being taught by the adults, teaching their young how to hunt.

By the afternoon we were back to the tranquility of watching Orca that eat only fish. Yes our residents had returned and they appeared to be content at foraging in the rip where the ocean current raced into Johnstone Strait from Blackney Passage. The fast moving water squeezed between two large islands, which stirred up the water and all the nutrients below. There must have been juvenile herring as well as salmon on the menu as Humpbacks also fed in the same vicinity as the Orca.

Seeing the large gaping mouth of a feasting Humpback never gets old and with the calmness of the sea it was easy to capture on camera.

As we drift towards shorter days and cooler mornings, all signs that our summer is slowly slipping away, the wildlife multiplies and every creature is feasting, as though stocking up for the winter months ahead.

Hayley ShephardComment