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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ks and Ls Southbound

We had strange weather today - I heard someone say we had all four seasons just this morning! There was fog out, then sunshine and blue skies, then a rain shower, and at first it was warm and almost muggy, then there was frigid breeze, and then it warmed up again. It made for an interesting view across Haro Strait looking towards the Olympic Mountains. That's a layer of fog below the mountains, some rain clouds above, and then some blue sky!

I spent part of this morning while doing chores around the house listening to the whales on the hydrophones and based on where they hung out yesterday I figured they were going north. Then, I heard they turned back south again, so I bolted out to the west side to see if I could catch them! I got to Land Bank just in time to see a group of K and L Pod whales make their way south a little ways offshore.

There was a group of mostly males from the L12 subpod being followed by a research boat. The person in the bow pulpit is ready to scoop up prey and fecal samples given the opportunity. This group of orcas was pretty active, including several breaches - it's always quite a sight to see a big adult male launching himself completely out of the water! Amazing that there is actually heat distortion in this distant shot!

The whales have been around a lot all summer and into the fall. Everyone is starting to wonder just how long they'll stick around before they start roaming further afield to their fall and winter hunting grounds. Hopefully there's still plenty of fish here and they'll be around for a few weeks yet, but every encounter this time of year is a special one!


Kate said...

That's a beautiful picture...IT must have been awesome for the researchers. The research boat looks like it could be demolished easily...

Lois Evensen said...

What wonderful images! I'm glad I came upon your blog via another I am following.

Very best,

Monika said...

Kate - Thankfully the whales are very aware of their surroundings and never run into the boats. Also, distance perception on the water can be very deceiving - the whale and boat are probably much further apart than it appears.

Lois - Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Monika - there is a Ruff over the water from you at Whiffen Spit Vancouver Island if you didn't know. Deffo worth an Orca that one - harder here than Redshanks!