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Saturday, November 23, 2013

November Transient Orcas

Yesterday I had just gotten home from work when I heard that a group of marine mammal eating transient orcas was in Spieden Channel, just down the road from where I live. I hurried down there and got there just in time to see the seven whales heading east in front of a Washington State Ferry.


This photo got a lot of views yesterday; I posted it after getting home, and King5 news in Seattle posted it on their Facebook page. In a couple hours it had 1800 likes and a couple hundred shares - wow! It was also the "photo of the day" in the Orca Network whale report for yesterday.

Perhaps not coincidentally, there were sea lions right in front of me swimming by, about as far away from the whales as they could get. Steller sea lions regularly haul out on Green Point at the east end of Spieden Island, but I was surprised to see a pair of California sea lions, too.

Stellar sea lion (front) and a pair of California sea lions (back) in Spieden Channel
 
I heard today the whales were T35, the T38s, and T75B and T75C, but they were too far away for me to get any IDs myself. One of these whales has a cool white mark on his dorsal fin, but it's on the other side so I didn't get to see that. But, it's pretty awesome anytime you see whales, especially in the "off" season.



I watched them for about 15 minutes until they were past Spieden Island and had turned to the north, heading apparently for Boundary Pass.