Great Balls of Bait!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa

Massive throat pleats expand as Yahtzee the Humpback Whale lunge-feeds

Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Slash, Ridge, Claw, Yahtzee, Ripple, Obsidian and others!), Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Great Blue Heron, Pelagic Cormorants, and Bald Eagles.

Today the Humpback Whales out in Blackfish Sound were feeding so voraciously that we could hardly keep up! Every time a bait ball started to form, with Gulls overhead and Common Murres below, a Humpback Whale would lunge and scoop up the entire mouthful! It kept us on our toes, wondering which direction feeding was going to occur in next! We were treated to a glimmer of sunshine today which the Pacific Harbour Seals and Steller Sea Lions soaked up on the rocks.

The aftermath of a huge lunge feed by Yahtzee the Humpback Whale. Can you see the spots that inspired the name Yahtzee?

This male Steller Sea Lion was having a good scratch… or testing his flexibility

The distinctive (lack of) dorsal fin of Slash the Humpback Whale

Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out in the sunshine

A flash of fluke from Slash the Humpback Whale after she lunge fed on a bait ball. Spot the dorsal fin of another Humpback Whale in the background?

What a wingspan on this mature Bald Eagle soaring overhead!

Lunge feed! The horizon was full of hovering hungry Gulls today, marking spots where Humpback Whales surfaced!

This Common Murre was carrying around their prize, a small fish scooped from a bait ball

Steller Sea Lions keeping warm above the water

A mature Bald Eagle perched in the lush green trees

Photo credits: Alex McDonald and Carmen Pendleton. *Photos taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.*

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