Wednesday July 18, 2018 – M.V. Lukwa
A member of the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orcas surfaces.
Today’s Sightings: Humpback Whales (Argonaut, Merge, Black Pearl, Quartz, and unidentified), Mammal-eating (Bigg’s) Orcas, Fish-eating (Northern Resident) Orcas (A23 Matriline), Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Bald Eagles, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Turnstones, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Common Murres.
Today was whale-y wonderful! We started the morning off watching Argonaut and Black Pearl the Humpback Whales surface right near Stubbs Island, the island we are named after! We then took off in search of Mammal-eating (Bigg’s) Orcas, who we found socializing and even vocalizing, which is a rare sighting considering they are the quieter of the two types of Orcas we see in this area. The afternoon trip found the other type of Orca, the Fish-eating or Northern Resident Orcas. We watched the A23 Matriline travel along together and even pass right by Quartz the Humpback Whale! Pacific Harbour Seals dotted the rocks, a few mother seals were spotted right next to their young pups. In some of the strong currents, Rhinoceros Auklets dotted the surface and worked to school together Herring, which Bald Eagles and Gulls came to feed on! After the feast, the water glimmered with all the scales left behind. The highlight of the day was watching active Dall’s Porpoises in the sunset on our way home this evening.
Stunning scenery of one of many islands we travel past on our tours.
A Mammal-eating Killer Whale tail slapping.
Humpback Whales Merge and Argonaut surface together.
Two members of the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orca travel down Blackfish Sound.
Well camouflaged shorebirds.
Black Pearl the Humpback Whale.
Quartz the Humpback Whale surfaces beside the A23 Matriline of Fish-eating (Resident) Orca.
Pacific Harbour Seals hauled out with a Black Oystercatcher in the background.
Who’s faster? Fish-eating Orca are going fast but those Rhinoceros Auklets flying close behind might have the advantage.
Breathtaking sunset lighting up Bald Eagles, Herring, and different species of Gulls.
Zoom! A very quick look at the speed and power of a Dall’s Porpoise.
Photo credits: Alex McDonald, Johanna Ferrie, Allison Parker and Carmen Pendleton. Images taken with a telephoto lens and cropped.