Whale report

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oldsalt
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Re: Whale report

Postby oldsalt » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:00 pm

Sharkb8 wrote:Some friends of mine had a really cool (and rare!) encounter with a breaching humpback in the middle of Bellingham Bay yesterday afternoon. I'm wondering if it was the same one you spotted in the pass.

Wow. Photographing a breaching humpback still eludes me. The appearance of humpbacks is one of the changes in whale behavior brought about by climate change. I literally (word used correctly) have hundreds of photos of humpbacks taken in the last couple of years. I didn't see any in Puget Sound in earlier years. An article in the paper today says J35 is still carrying the dead calf and a second calf looks emaciated and close to death. Our so called resident whales may be doomed by their food choice - salmon. The decrease in salmon population coupled with the prominence of less nutritious hatchery fish may be leading to orca deaths.
Could your friends whale be the same? Possibly. The one in the pass was a young one. The picture below shows it swimming in the rushing current showing an undeveloped dorsal fin.
DSC_0617.JPG
Young humpback in Deception Pass

Curt :rawlings:
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Sharkb8
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Re: Whale report

Postby Sharkb8 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:00 pm

Some friends of mine had a really cool (and rare!) encounter with a breaching humpback in the middle of Bellingham Bay yesterday afternoon. I'm wondering if it was the same one you spotted in the pass. With all the terrible news about the local orcas it's nice to know that there is still some positive whale related news for our area.
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ScubaJess
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Re: Whale report

Postby ScubaJess » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:51 am

Man that sounds like a pretty fantastic day! :)
Thanks for the update!!!
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Gdog
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Re: Whale report

Postby Gdog » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:25 am

That is fantastic. How cool that you had the opportunity to witness all this in one day!

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YellowEye
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Re: Whale report

Postby YellowEye » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:45 pm

Very cool Curt!

That would have been cool to see!

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Penopolypants
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Re: Whale report

Postby Penopolypants » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:21 am

A notable day indeed!

It's so sad about the mama and her calf...thank you for respected her space and grief.
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Tom Nic
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Re: Whale report

Postby Tom Nic » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:27 pm

Lovely!

Thank you so much for the pictures and the story!
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Jan K
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Re: Whale report

Postby Jan K » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:40 pm

Curt, seeing four species of whales on same day in our waters is probably first for even full time whale watchers! Thanks for sharing your observations.

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oldsalt
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Whale report

Postby oldsalt » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:03 pm

As I type this a Gray Whale spouts in front of my house. While grays are common, their presence at this time of year isn't. With climate change, we have also seen a change in whale behavior. A lone gray was feeding in front of my home when I left yesterday to go whale watching in the San Juans. For years, this meant watching Orca, specifically the fish eating population we have called residents. It turns out that they aren't resident. The first whale we saw was a Minke. Minkes, small for baleen whales, reside here but are normally furtive. I felt lucky to get some good pictures of this one.
DSC_0583 (2).JPG
Minke whale

This whale would herd baitfish into a ball, attracting a flock of seabirds. When it rose toward the surface the birds would take flight alerting me to be ready with the camera. As has been reported in the Seattle times, one of the resident orca named J35 gave birth to a calf which died. The mother has been carrying the dead calf with her for four days. As a consequence, when we saw J pod we gave them a wide berth and departed the area. No orca pictures. The big surprise came as we passed through Deception Pass. A young humpback was diving in a 5 knot current in the pass. While I got some decent pictures of this whale, I could only get a shot of its spout and the bridge.
DSC_0633.JPG
Humpback in Deception Pass

I thought about all the pictures I've seen by Jan taken right under this animal. Any day I see four species of big whales is a notable day.
-Curt :rawlings:
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