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Friday, April 30, 2010

They're back!

While the Southern Resident killer whales can come through the area at any time of year, they spend a lot of their time here between May and September. Every spring, the anticipation of their return is always running high, and everyone wonders, "Will today be the day that they come back?" Usually, J-Pod returns some time April, though last year they weren't seen until the first week of May. It was looking like that might be the case again this year, but as it turns out, today was the day - it's the last day of April and we finally got the phone call that Southern Residents were heading in the Strait of Juan de Fuca towards the San Juan Islands!

The seas were a bit rough today, but that wasn't going to keep us from finding those whales. We met up with them off the west side of San Juan Island where they spread out over several miles. There were a couple adult males in the group we were with, and their tall dorsal fins stood out over the choppy water:

It was too difficult to get any IDs while out on the water today, but after we got back I was listening to the hydrophones on the west side of San Juan Island and by the vocalizations it was clear that at least J-Pod has returned. Hopefully they will stick around, and we will get a chance in the next few days to see who all is here!

1 comment:

Julie said...

YAY! I am glad to hear the beloved residents are gracing us with their presence there on the west side. I'll be up mid-June... site #20 for nearly 2 weeks this time. Hope to catch up with you in person then!