Another fabulous day of whale watching

stellar sea-lion with salmon

stellar sea-lion with salmon

The North Island is experiencing beautiful weather just now and so again this morning, the sun was shining and the day warm, even before we left the dock. Approaching Weynton Passage and the Passage itself is always of interest with bird species to look for, harbour seals and also humpback whales and so it was this morning with the sighting of harbour seals swimming amongst kelp forests and

Looking down Blackfish Sound

Looking down Blackfish Sound

hauled out on exposed rocky outcrops but because of the flooding current and high tide, most of them were in the water. Black oyster catchers were also seen on an island and a pair in flight, their cries high-pitched were easily recognized. A humpback whale was also sighted in the near vicinity, it was taking long dives of 12 minute intervals, this particular whale, Black Pearl, has been in the region frequently this summer. We carried on our way, scanning far out into the Queen Charlotte Strait where the scenery was spectacular with the Coast Range Mountains forming a

Bull Kelp

Bull Kelp

beautiful backdrop to the flat calm blue waters of the Strait. We stopped to observe a stellar sea-lion with a salmon in its mouth feeding, another was seen lying on the surface of the water resting and then a humpback whale was sighted heading in the direction of Donegal Head before turning back. Again taking long dives, we believe this whale to be Black Pearl but  it was also possible to be different whale. Another humpback blow was seen down near the entrance to White Beach Pass while two more were reported in Blackney Passage and it was down near White Beach Pass that we all enjoyed a wonderful humpback whale encounter. The scenic waterways we cruised through on the way home made exceptional viewing with the sun shining on the abundant kelp forests that spread far across some narrow passageways making the viewing even more pristine and magical. Dalls porpoises, bald eagles, rhinoceros and cassins aucklets  and rednecked phalaropes were also seen.

Bird watching

It seems as though summer has arrived already on the North Island with temperatures this last weekend as warm or warmer than they ever get to in the summertime and one cannot help but be amazed at the large numbers of Bald Eagles seen all over the island and viewed in close proximity. Yesterday 28++ could be seen feeding out in the Bay, diving low over a herring ball. This morning I observed a juvenile eagle targeting a Common Loon as it was feeding close to the Government Dock, fortunately for the loon, it skillfully dove beneath the waters surface time and again and the juvenile giving up, flew back to rest on the nearby piling. Birds of all species are busy, some are nest building while others are already sitting on their clutch of eggs. While gardening yesterday, it was heartwarming to see once again the Tree Swallows who have returned to our yard claiming their nesting box and the sound of Rufous Hummingbirds flitting back and forth among the salmon berry bushes and at the feeder was music to my ears. Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers feeding out front when the tide is low is always a welcomed sight and seeing them this morning with the sun shining bright was wonderful. A Minke Whale was also reported yesterday feeding on the north side of Cormorant Island.