bannernewblack    

Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Southern Residents
Bigg's/Transient orcas
Humpback whales
Minke whales
COME VISIT
Orca Network's
LANGLEY WHALE CENTER

Corner of 2nd & Anthes, Langley,
Whidbey Island

~~~
Open Thurs - Sun 11 - 5
Displays, videos, gift shop, lending library
~~~

Orca Network recommends:
Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting, by
Sandra Pollard
This important volume recounts the people whose determined efforts ultimately succeeded in ending the captures.

_______________

The Lost Whale, by
Michael Parfit and
Suzanne Chisolm
  An intensely personal story...but this person is a young orca.  

Lost Whale book...ver scaled

______________

 

To learn more  

about orcas: 

Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

Vol. 3: Residents and Transients, How Did That Happen?

Click here  

to order YOUR copy!

_________________

 

  David Kirby  

The bestseller about orcas in captivity

   DeathatSeaWorld


Quick Links

Click here

to learn about L pod

orca Lolita/Tokitae,

captured in Penn Cove,

Whidbey Island, WA

in 1970, somehow surviving in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium ever since.

Tokitae looking up at us from her tank in Miami, FL in the late 1990s 

Sign up for our 

Whale Sighting  

or Free Lolita

Email Lists


Click Here to Join

July 1, 2015

We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Having trouble viewing this Sightings Report? Archived Reports can be found HERE.
We've had a wonderful June with events celebrating Orca Awareness Month, including many beautiful and extraordinary orca encounters, last night's being no exception.  Many humans spent a beautiful summer evening with members of J and K pods who were traveling, socializing and breaching off East Point, Saturna Island. Sweet photos of J49 T'ilem I'nges, who turns four-years-old this week, breaching while tucked in amongst his family, and a phenomenal photo of the day of L87 Onyx.
Around the same time, other matrilines of at least both pods were traveling Haro Strait off the west side of San Juan Island.
A short time later land-based viewers watched them pass by while others eavesdropped in on the hydrophones at Lime Kiln Lighthouse State Park.

A predation event with the T36As and T75Bs was witnessed by many near Shaw Island on the 27th. Several encounter reports and photos were submitted depicting the female holding the Harbor seal in her mouth, many are included in this report. We provide a courtesy WARNING first here as well as warning leading up to the photos. They are not bloody, however, we understand and respect it is unsettling for some to see. We include this natural event for educational purposes and in no way is it our intent to exploit these beings who were just going about their day finding food.

We here in the Pacific Northwest are experiencing record temperatures with no end in sight. Please be extra careful wherever you are and however you celebrate the holiday. Please keep in mind and respect the sea is the only home these marine mammals have. Keep a minimum distance of 100 yards from marine mammals, 200 yards for orcas in U.S. waters. Be Whale Wise!

If you find yourself on Whidbey Island please come visit us at our Langley Whale Center. We are open Sunday-Thursday, 11am-5pm. We will be open this 4th of July (US) holiday weekend and trying out some other days of the week.  For more information please see links and details in the column to the left.

Be safe, enjoy and much appreciation to you all!

Orca Network 

Photo of the Day
June 30
Onyx (L87) was a rockstar today! He breached many times as he passed East Point, Saturna Island, BC with members of J-pod (group A) and the K14s. It was nothing short of an amazing day!
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, June 30, 2015
Southern Residents  
June 30
J41 and J51 cruising down Haro Strait this evening
Monika Wieland, June 30, 2015

June 30
7:30 pm - Lots of calls on Lime Kiln!
Angela Barrat

June 30
7:17 pm - Orcas approaching Lime Kiln!
Cayley Coulbourn

June 30
7:21 pm - sweet and loud vocals of Js and Ks.
7:11 pm- our orca friends are near the hydrophone... echolocation on Lime Kiln.
Alisa, ON

June 30
Onyx (L87) at East Point, Saturna Island with members of J-pod (group A) and the K14s.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, June 30, 2015
Hysazu Photography 2015

June 30
Hey Guys! We were out today with Group A of Jpod (without the J16's) along with the K14's as they made their way towards East Point (Saturna Island, BC). J49, T'ilem I'nges just couldn't stop breaching out of the water!! Then everyone got in on the action. Here are a couple photos from today.
Cheers, Ashley Keegan, Wild Whales Vancouver

June 30
Such a great way to spend an afternoon... Orca and East Point, Saturna Island
Photo by Ashley Keegan, June 30, 2015

June 30
J49 T'ilem I'nges breaching off East Point, Saturna Island
Photo by Ashley Keegan, June 30, 2015

June 30
J49, T'ilem I'nges, trying to be as big as K26, Lobo.
Photo by Ashley Keegan, June 30, 2015

June 30
Gorgeous day today! Winds have been a real pain for us this month but today gave us a little lull in the big northwesterlies to get out there to enjoy group A of J pod and the K14's. They were heading for East Point but took their time getting there fighting a 7 knot current near Boiling Reef!
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

June 30
K26 and L87, very frisky with one another today.
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 30, 2015

June 30
J49 breaching behind J14, J40 and J45. L87 following in the background.
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 30, 2015

June 30
Lobo, K26...One of many, many breaches today along the south shore of Saturna Island, BC!
Photo by James Maya, June 30, 2015

**********************

June 29
...As we headed west in Spieden Channel we got the word---there were whales up ahead! Behind those two came the towering fin of Lobo (K26), which told me we had members of both the J14s and the K14s...
As we followed the whales we realized they were heading somewhere they don't normally go---they were pointed right for the topside of Spieden Island where they got serious about foraging. CWR (Center for Whale Research) says they haven't been seen in that spot for over 15 years!...We left them still on the north side of Speiden and later I heard they continued north towards East Point through Boundary Pass.
Sara Hysong-Shimazu

June 29
Suttles (J40) rising to the surface right off our port side.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, June 30, 2015
More photos and full encounter report HERE

June 29
Suttles (J40)
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, June 30, 2015

June 29
We saw behavior from member's of J Pod's Group A and the K14's that has never been witnessed by researches before! The Southern Resident's went through the Cactus Islands! It's been seven years since researchers have seen them on the east side of Spieden Island, but they've never actually seen them go through the Cactus Islands. It was very interesting indeed. After they passed through, J2 seemed to circle the J14's, J19's, and K14's back around to forage some. They formed a lineup and seemed to be foraging as the North Atlantic whales would! It was incredible.
Heather MacIntyre

June 29
An unusual route: Js and Ks exiting the Cactus Islands (north side of Spieden Island)
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, June 29, 2015

June 29
Residents busy doing the west side shuffle. Spotted them at San Juan County park mid channel heading south around 4pm. Were still mid channel going south past Lime Kiln slowly around 4:30 then did a close pass by porpoising past Westside Landbank around 5pm. Baby in tow. Currently approaching Grandmas Cove very spread out at 6:38pm.
Ariel Yseth

June 29
4:43 pm -  I'm hearing a lot of calls on the hydrophones. Lime kiln.
Please be whale wise!
Lore Borras

June 29
Been hearing quite a bit of vocalizing on OrcaSound hydrophone this morning since about 1:45am (PDT)
Cydnie Simons

*********************

June 28
12:30 pm - Just reporting a sighting at Pender Island, Thieves Bay. There were 2 main groups (9-10 orcas) with babies heading north along the shore. Just traveling.
Scott Pickwell

June 28
J42 Echo breaches just off East Point on Saturna Island, BC.
Photo by Traci Walter, June 28, 2015

June 28
J2 (Granny) and her granddaughter J14 (Samish) in the lead this morning at 9:15 at the Center for Whale Research, heading north a mile north of Lime Kiln park. They were spread out for miles. The J16s didn't pass Lime Kiln until 10:30.
Howard/ON (See the Center's full report Encounter #57)

June 28
We've had a week of amazing mornings on the water and today was no exception. We met up with J-Pod Group A and the K12s, K13s, and K14s at Pile Point heading north at 8:30 AM. They were very spread out; by the time we left them at 11 AM the leaders were well north of Kellett Bluff and the trailers were off San Juan County Park.
Monika Wieland, Orca Behavior Institute, San Juan Island, WA

June 28
K25 Scoter, K44 Ripple and K27 Deadhead in northern Haro Strait Sunday morning.
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 28, 2015

*********************

June 27
This evening from 5:45 - 6:45 PM I watched as Js and Ks went south past Lime Kiln. Present were the K13s, K14s, K12s, J19s, and J16s in that order, with the J2s/J14s offshore towards the end.
Monika Wieland

June 27
Big spyhop from K33 Tika this evening off Lime Kiln Lighthouse State Park, San Juan Island
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 27, 2015

June 27
6:30 pm - While on the road along the west side of San Juan Island at the West Side Preserve we saw orcas out a half mile or so moving generally southeast. Upon disembarking the car and scrambling down the hill I applied binocs to eyes and was able to tentatively ID J16 and her baby J50, which made sense since they had been seen earlier that day a few miles north. Other orcas were seen fanned out across Haro Strait in various modes of traveling and splashing.
Howard/ON

June 27
5:43 pm - I hear them now! Lime Kiln
Susan Wickland

June 27
6:05 pm - Loud echolocation on Lime Kiln hydrophone
5:25 pm - echolocation and calls, sounds like some Ks on OS
5:15 pm - start hearing SRKWs on OrcaSound hydrophone
Alisa LB/ON

June 27
4:30 pm - Maia of WA State Ferries reported 6 orcas headed south in Haro Strait near Mandarte Island.

June 27
Four-year-old K44 Ripple (L) with mom K27 Deadhead in Boundary Pass.
Photo by James Gresham, June 27, 2015

June 27
11:00 am - ...What a sight to see! I was on tour with Sooke Coastal Explorations. All of J pod & some L pod. Heading West! Spanned out from Vancouver Island and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Deanna Brett

June 27
 J or L pod member breaching off Point No Point area ( Canadian Side ) offshore.
Photo by Deanna Brett, June 27, 2015

June 27
At 8 AM this morning we picked up the K12s and K13s heading north just north of Pile Point. (While it sounded like more whales than this were headed "in" last night, I believe the others were westbound out the strait again.) Over the next 2+ hours we followed them slowly north, leaving them at Kellett Bluff still going north at 10:45 AM. For the most part they were spread out and in slow travel mode, with occasional stops to forage.
Monika Wieland

June 27
Another tranquil morning on the water with the Southern Residents.
Here's K37 (Rainshadow), presumably in pursuit of a fish in Haro Strait.
It was so quiet their vocalizations were echoing.

Photo by Monika Wieland, June 27, 2015

June 27
9:36 am - Echolocation & faint calls on Lime Kiln.
Jill Clogston

June 27
1:13 am - Tune into Lime Kiln now! Great vocals!
Sara Hysong-Shimazu

June 27
1:12 am - Hearing vocals on Lime Kiln
Casey Fitzgerald

June 27
12:41 am -  sounds like J Pod on Lime Kiln hydrophone
Connie Bicketon

************************

June 26
9:00pm - Orcas just passed Point Roberts. Approximately 10 whales heading north and moving quickly. Some breaching, charging, and feeding behaviour. At least two large males and one calf. So exciting!
Sandra Scott

June 26
Evening of June 26th we saw a number of Orcas heading north in front of Lighthouse Park in Point Roberts.
Ronald Hansen

June 26
K & L Pod at sunset, here, at Lime Kiln. Mmmmm...mighty fine.
James Taylor

June 26
8:50 pm -  the chatter is starting up again - really fun conversation!
Susan Berta, ON

June 26
8:23 pm  - I was about to give up as I didn't hear anything for a while except boat noise but now they're back and lovely!
Debbie Stewart

June 26
8:10 pm - Hearing great calls on Lime Kiln hydrophones - Southern Resident orcas off west San Juan Island!
Susan Berta/ ON

June 26
Saw them today! A few with there little ones. It was beautiful. This was around 2:30-3 pm. The little ones were cute and playful splashing the surface of the water.
Adam Lentshcer

June 26
We headed off to the west side of San Juan Island again today, where members of J-pod were spread along the coast line for several miles, from False Bay to Battleship Island! Almost a carbon copy of Thursday's report. We saw some breaching close to shore - a lot of foraging - and J-2 Granny, matriarch of J-pod - gave us a close pass by. A few harbor seals checked us out as we headed back to port, another incredible day in the Salish Sea.
Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

June 26
J pod member breaching in Haro Strait.
Photo by Jill Hein, June 26, 2015


************************

June 25
Another beautiful sunny day with the lovely J-16 resident orca group and others, around Andrews Bay north of Lime Kiln state park. Some great close passes by big Blackberry, J-27, the J-16 group, J-16 Slick, J-36 Alki, and two of the calves,and most likely the rest of the that family group, plus J-19 Shachi and J-31 Tsuchi. Some big breaches, a spyhop, and some intense porpoising and fishing behaviors. Great encounter, with a few bald eagles for good measure!
Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist

June 25
J pod traveling Haro Strait up the west side of San Juan Island.
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, June 25, 2015

Bigg's/Transient orcas
June 28 
We found those amazing T075s today - here's a photo of T075B with calves T075B2 (left, born in April) and T036A3 in back. Between Waldron Island and Doughty Point, Orcas Island. Lots of breaching, and they had seal for lunch.
Photo by Jill Hein, June 28, 2015
ID by Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research 

June 28 
After lunching on seal, there were roughly a dozen breaches all around.
Photo by Jill Hein, June 28, 2015

June 28 
It's been a crazy few day's lately! On Sunday we saw the T075B's play with a harbor seal, carry it around, but not eat it! These Orcas have been notorious lately for playing with their harbor seal prey.
Heather MacIntyre


June 28 
T075B carrying a harbor seal.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, June 28, 2015 

June 28 
I spotted a group of three orcas in the San Juan Channel near Mineral Point around 11am traveling north toward Waldron. Looked like a male female and calf but I could not id them. I would be curious to hear if anyone else living on the channel saw them and was able to id them. They were in no great hurry and seemed to be finding food but they were also spyhopping quite a bit.
William Radcliffe

***********************

WARNING: June 27th PREDATION EVENT PHOTOS  (and ID NOTES)
The next part of this section includes many photos submitted by several people of a female carrying around a Harbor seal she had killed. It is not bloody but we understand is upsetting to some people and out of respect wanted to give notice.
There was some confusion circulated about IDs and which pods/individuals were present, here are ID notes by Melisa Pinnow (Naturalist and volunteer with Center for Whale Research): "T077A is a loner male and hangs out with other matrilines instead of his family. I think people assumed it was the T077s because of T077A but really it was the T075Bs and T036As. That spy hop there with the freckles on her chin is T036A. The female with the seal in her mouth that has the eye patch with freckle like dots at the left end side is T075C, who is not the mom of anybody."
 
June 27 
7:20 pm - One orca being followed by boats on north side of Lopez island, across from Orcas island. Does anyone know which one it is?
Forest Chick

  

June 27 
5:15-5:30pm - Between Shaw and Orcas Islands. 
I saw her (T75C) come up four different times w/this seal.  Lots of spy hops, tail lobs...

Photo by Cathy Miller Scott, June 27, 2015
(ID by Melisa Pinnow)  

June 27 
T75C
Photo by Cathy Miller Scott, June 27, 2015
(ID by Melisa Pinnow)  

June 27 
We had a very memorable encounter with transient orcas near Shaw Island in the afternoon on the Island Explorer 3.  T75B, T75C, and two family calves chased and caught a harbor seal while T77A swam about a quarter mile away.  The orcas played with the seal by throwing it around like a rag doll at times and spyhopping with it in their mouths over and over again.  It was an experience we will never forget! 
Bart Rulon

June 27 
Transients near Shaw Island, WA
Photo by Bart Rulon , June 27, 2015 

June 27 
T75C
Photo by Bart Rulon , June 27, 2015 
(ID by Melisa Pinnow) 

June 27 
T36A
Photo by Bart Rulon , June 27, 2015 
(ID by Melisa Pinnow) 

June 27 
...An incredible whale-watching excursion (w/Outer Island Expeditions) I went on in the San Juan Islands of Washington state! ...We watched and gently followed this pod of transient Orca whales  between Lopez and Orcas Islands in the San Juan islands...there were about seven whales, plus a very large male (T77A) in the distance...The portion of the pod we were following were the adult females with their calves...We saw them play with each other: tail slaps, jumps, spy hoping, belly rolls, back flips, so incredible! As a nature photographer its very rare to witness wildlife acting like this, and I will never forget what an incredible experience we all had on the water on this day!
Jim Stiles

June 27 
T75C with Harbor seal and youngster
Photo by Jim Stiles, June 27, 2015
(ID by Melisa Pinnow) 

June 27  
T75C with a harbor seal she had just killed near Lopez Island ferry terminal.
Photo by James Gresham, June 27, 2015 

June 27 
Members of the T36As and T75Bs were cruising inshore along Blakely Island in a beautiful, peaceful prelude to an incredibly intense predation event we were to witness a few minutes later.
Photo by James Gresham, June 27, 2015   

June 27 
T075B with her calf T075B2, born in April of 2015.
Taken aboard the Odyssey of San Juan Excursions.
Photo by Melisa Pinnow, Naturalist, June 27, 2015 


***********************
June 25 
10:00 am - This morning  2 groups of Orcas (3 babies,4 adults in) swam south past the ferry terminal at Mukilteo. They were fantastic to see. The first group was about 2-3 adults and 2 babies, then a little behind them, another adult with a baby swam past. The ferry was close but they were past before it docked. They were traveling, but not at a fast pace, just up and down.  Susan King
(Correction: Including Susan Kings report again because we neglected to credit her photo in our June 26 report)


June 25 
Transients in Possession Sound off Clinton, Whidbey Island
Photo by Susan King, June 25, 2015 


************************

June 23 
While kayaking thought Colvos passage in the morning we encountered this pod
of Orcas as they headed north.
Photo by Dennis Caines, June 23, 2015
 
Humpback whales
June 27 
We had at least 5 humpbacks in the waters north and east of Race Rocks, and then Big Mama out by Beecher Bay.
Connie Bickerton

June 27 
MMY0006 'Windy' (left) and BCX1068 'Split Fluke' (right) swim in tandem past
Race Rocks Ecological Preserve in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, June 27, 2015
 

June 27 
MM20004 (ID by Boat Naturalist)
Photo by Connie Bickerton, June 27, 2015
Minke whales
July 1 
9:00 am - Jenny Wilson called with a sighting of a minke mom and baby she watched for about an hour off San Juan Island, between Eagle Point and Pile Point.

************************

June 30 
Minke whale "Nick Jagger" came cruising past us while we were listening for killer whales in the fog at False Bay on the morning of June 30th.
Photo by Mark Malleson, 2015 

*************************

June 29 
8:16 pm -  Hi Susan,  Its been  long time since I had a report but we just had two minke whales at Hannah Heights- they came south and turned north again. Rather close to the shore- nice to see them around!
Sandy Buckley, San Juan Island  
ABOUT ORCA NETWORK  

Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network involves citizens in helping researchers track the movement of whales, and encourages people to observe whales from their homes, businesses, ferries, and beaches.
Whale reports are sent in to our Sighting Network and emailed out to researchers, agencies, and citizens on our network, and posted on our website (MAP of sightings also on website). Whale reports and observations are sent in by a variety of sources, and Orca Network does not guarantee the accuracy of any report or whale identification.

 

TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-672-2638), email info@orcanetwork.org, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.

 

*BE WHALE WISE! BOATERS - NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AS OF MAY 16, 2011:

 "The new rules prohibit vessels from approaching any killer whale closer than 200 yards and forbid vessels from intercepting a whale or positioning the vessel in its path. This doubles the current approach distance of 100 yards. The rules go into effect May 16 and apply to all types of boats, including motor boats, sail boats and kayaks, in Washington"

 

For more information on the new Federal Regulations, visit the NOAA Fisheries website

 

 
To report harassment of whales in US waters
, call NOAA Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964;

In Canadian waters, call DFO's Observe Record and Report (ORR) Violations Hotline: 1-800- 465-4336

Report the boat name &/or a description of the boat, & get photos if at all possible.