Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1-16-18 Birds

Tuesday, January 16th
...not much of a birder but do like to photograph them when possible...
...and it was on the 14th when I was out and about to see what birds I could see is when I saw J Pod...so, you just never know...

...however, no sightings other than birds in the last few days...
...here are a few...



 ...those three Harlequin ducks and the lighting - which made these three look black and white, reminded me of a new island resident...
...

...I have since tried twice, but it will take being at the wall at just the right time in order to get a picture of just the top of that rock exposed...

...I then went to County Park and saw this Pigeon Guillemot...
...and another five Harlequin Ducks...same combination - 3 males and 2 females...
...

...but no birds within camera range that day...
..and no whales the next day but some more birds...






...and this one, I haven't a clue...
...it's the sunny days at this time of year that are a must to get outside!

 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1-14-18 Something Caught My Eye

Sunday, January 14th

...the sun was shining - finally...I told myself  "out the door and don't come home before dark."...little did I know...

...off to Lime Kiln...I needed to take a picture to finish a blog post...and in order to get the picture the tide had to be high...okay, mission accomplished - it was about noon...

...next stop County Park...I had been looking for whatever would show up...Dall's porpoises riding the wake of a freighter...far out and could only see their splashes but when you know what they are doing, well, it puts a smile on your face anyway...

...I decided I would go to Ruben Tarte Park next, on the northeast side of the island and figured I would work my way down to the bottom end of the island by day's end...however, other things would come into my view...at first something caught my eye as I was parking the car...
...get out the binos and 'lookie-here'...a zodiac...hummm...I wonder what they are watching...from where they were and the direction/speed I knew they were watching something...so very far away...
...now why didn't I have my 'big eyes' with me? - arrgh!...but I kept watching...one very tall dorsal fin came into view! Killer whales!  WOW!  I could not believe my eyes...I saw a couple other boats that I knew and they were spread out, so I knew that whoever those whales were, were also spread out...but I would have to see what came next...

...as the whales came a bit closer, I could see a few far, far off toward the other side of the channel...yes, it looked like they were going to come down San Juan Channel...and they did...
...got a couple images and that let me know those were J Pod whales out there!!!...well, and Onyx L-87 too :)
...the seas were rough and the whales were far from shore and they kept going down island...so did I - to town, hoping they would come by Friday Harbor...

...Oh, my!  They did!...about 6 to 8, spread out, came past the entrance to Friday Harbor - that was just too cool to watch...even though they were so far out...
 ...next, I was about to calculate the time for being at the bottom end of the island, when I saw one of the whales change direction.  
...What?...wait, maybe only foraging...
 ...so glad I waited...because it wasn't long before those who had passed the harbor and gone out of sight, down island, came back and went up island...
 ...it looked as though the current was a pretty strong ebb, but when I got home and looked it said it was more slackish at that time...it was about 3:30 when I saw the last one leave my view, still going up...leaping!
 ...after waiting about 30 minutes, I went back up to Ruben Tarte, but at that time, daylight was saying goodbye...and the whales seemed to have stalled out, still a few miles away...so when I looked at the tide table, it showed me why they likely had (of course I don't know) but about a 7' ebb was just getting started...(note to self: put tide chart on my phone for future reference)...

...evidently J Pod had been north all this time, which is really not uncommon for this time of year, at least in recent years...also it is winter blackmouth salmon season...I'll have to ask the fishermen how their season is going...and whatever they say is likely what the whales would say too! ...so here's hoping the fishermen are having a great blackmouth season :)
 
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

1-1-18 Orcas Seen and Heard

January 1, 2018
and December 31, 2017

December 31, 2017
-the early morning on the last day of 2017 'acoustical fireworks' from some orcas...and just like fireworks they were very cool and didn't last that long...
...soon the Center for Whale Research was out and located the whales - it was the two moms and babies and one sibling - T75B, T75B2 and new baby, and T75B's sister, T75C and I believe her first known baby...and with them were T49As who have a new baby too! (see prior post about that)
...I went out with Capt. Jim on Peregrine and we were going to head north to that group...when just before we left the dock word came of more orcas coming into Haro Strait from the west...we had to go that way (closer)...
...Eagle Wing tours found them...
...the whales were near the west side of San Juan Island and were heading up island...it was the T18s...
...one of the passengers had mentioned earlier that she had been to Lime Kiln Park hundreds of times and never seen a whale...well, I knew if the whales kept heading the way they were, she would get to see that 'yes, whales really do go by Lime Kiln'...

...they continued up island and passed County Park...

...T19B and his fresh wound...
...
...
...
...on the way back to the harbor...
...so at the end of daylight of the last day of 2017 it was believed that the group with the three babies had continued north, since they were several miles north in the early afternoon and seemed to be continuing that way...and the T18s had been going east and likely north...

January 1, 2018
...in the wee hours (01:27) of the first morning of 2018, I heard not acoustical fireworks, but soft, intermittent calls over the Orca Sound hydrophones and my first thought was, "did the moms and babies come back down?"...but no, I dismissed that...then I thought I should spend the day over at the northeast side of the island, you know, just in case...I dismissed that too...
...shouldn't have...they were somewhere in that vicinity...I got word of some whales and got there asap, only to see a few blows, far in the distance...but I had no idea who...
...later I learn it was the moms and babies group...I headed down island hoping to see them before dark...but to no avail...however, sometimes when you go looking for one thing something else takes your breath away...
...
...a most spectacular moon as it rose up over the horizon with Mt. Baker in view...
...the whales, I didn't get to see, but I knew they were under that moon somewhere...
...living on the west side of the island, it is not often I am in the right place at the right time to see the moon rise...so thank you whales for getting me over there to see that!...
 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

12-30-17 Killer Whales - Ts - Quite Exciting These Days

Saturday, December 30th

...it has been a busy time, mainly nighttime, hearing Ts over the hydrophones -  12-24, 12-26, 12-27, and 12-28, for a total of over 6 hours.  Ts were seen a few times in a few different places, but I either got there too late or they were not in any area nearby.  
I was beginning to think I was destined to only hear orcas over the hydrophones and not ever see one again!
...but yay! that changed today when I got to the right spot at the right time - whew!  The pics are not that great, but they provided enough info...
 
...there was no way I was going to attempt to ID from my camera and so glad that when I got home I got the pics onto the computer and looked right away...and what a surprise!
...when I realized there were two babies I began to wonder if those 'endearing- sounding calls' (JB said they sounded like puppies) on the night of 12-24-17 were from these whales.  Of course we'll never know for sure...
...here is a sample of those calls from that evening:
It sure is fun to wonder about.