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Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents
Bigg's/Transient orcas
Unidentified orcas
Gray whales
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Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting, by
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The Lost Whale, by
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  An intensely personal story...but this person is a young orca.  

Lost Whale book...ver scaled

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Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

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July 25, 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.

The Southern Residents have been encountered around San Juan Island everyday since our last report. We had the privilege of listening to their calls, clicks, and whistles for several hours last night on both hydrophones (simultaneously) while other folks watched by land and by sea. Still, for the most part,  Js, Ks and Ls are foraging and socializing in smaller mixed groups, but on the 23rd members of all three pods were encountered in tight larger groups while traveling north of the island. It is truly moving to see the beauty of so many individuals that closely connected as they power on wherever they need to go in search of salmon, it's been a rare sight this summer.  Word is members of all three pods are currently moving down from north, we'll include those sightings in our next report.  

 

The Center for Whale Research has now been able to complete the 2015 Orca Survey census with the inclusion of verified sightings and photos of the L54s by Paul Pudwell from Sooke, BC.
Chris Dunagan's latest piece gets us up to date on the Southern Residents.

 

Transient pod T60s was encountered around San Juan Island on the 22nd,  

the same day we were following the heart wrenching story of the 9-year-old female transient T069A2 who was stranded on rocks for 8 hours. She is back swimming with her family thanks to her many rescuers.
Click HERE to read the newest
blog by For Whales that tells the complete story.

You can also watch CBC News video HERE.

 

An unidentified pod of orcas was encountered near the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 20 miles off the coast of California.  

 

A Gray whale has been seen on and off again around Bremerton in Puget Sound. Researchers and stranding networks have all been made aware of her/his ongoing presence.

 

Correction to July 19th report: A summary piece on L87 Onyx on the 18th and the first photo below it of L87 Onxy and J2 Granny were missing due credit, they are both by Heather MacIntyre.   

 

Orca Network 

Photo of the Day
July 23 
11:30am - 1:00pm - Some of J, K and L pods this morning.  They were at Kellett Bluff, heading towards Waldron when we left them, around 1 pm. Magic!
Superpod for SP4 folks, what a wonderful privilege!
Photo by Jill Hein, July 23, 2015 
 
Southern Residents  
July 25
6:15 am - Woke up to beautiful sight of a pod of about 6 Orcas travelling northbound up Trincomali channel past North Galiano. 0615 hours, lat 49.99407, long -123.58867.
Karen Steve Smith

Early this morning encounter with K27, K44 , K33 and K12 in Trincomali channel, BC.
Photo by Karen Steve Smith, July 25, 2015
(IDs by Melisa Pinnow and Sara Hysong-Shimazu)

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

July 24
9:43 pm - Loud Calls on Orca Sound
Megan Henson

July 24
8:23 pm - Super fabulous calls on Orca Sound right now. No other distractions.
Kim Merriman

July 24
8:12 pm - S4 calls now on Lime Kiln. Calls on Orca Sound too. Calls, whistles and clicks continued on through the night. I turned off at 9:30, they were still loud on both hydrophones then went quiet when a boat went through.
7:52 pm - Super fantastic loud L pod calls, clicks and whistles on Lime Kiln right now, they've been loud the past 10 minutes.

Alisa, ON

July 24
7:50 pm - Very loud vocals on Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Kristy Todd

July 24
8:10 pm - Calls on OrcaSound.
7:17 pm - Hearing faint intermittent calls on Lime Kiln.
Connie Bickerton

July 24
6:48 pm - Hearing some calls on the hydrophone!
Shelby Hight Fifield

July 24
Near Hannah Heights with all of J pod heading South at a pretty good clip!
39 Mako and older brother of J27 Blackberry
Photo by Janine Harles, July 24, 2015
(zoom lens and cropped)

July 24
Someone pauses to spyhop.
Photo by Janine Harles, July 24, 2015

July 24
12:45 pm -  They were moving southbound past Lime Kiln State Park.
Photo by Brandon Censon-Stillwagon, July 24, 2015

July 24 
Photo by Brandon Censon-Stillwagon, July 24, 2015 
 
July 24 
12:05 pm - Lots of SRKW activity on the west side of San Juan. Northbound whales, southbound whales, currently vocalizing now on Lime Kiln with others spread out. Good time to be on the rocks.
Alisa, ON

July 24 
Noon- J2 Granny was the whale leading the large group and also the closest to shore, giving me my closest looks of her yet. Beautiful matriarch!
Photo by Rachel Haight, July 24, 2015 
 
July 24
11:24am - Loud vocalizations being heard on OrcaSound Hydrophone (southbound pods)
Brendon Bissonnette

July 24
11:37 am - Calls of Ls then Ks southbound on OrcaSound
11:13 am - Calls of Lime Kiln Js and Ks
Alisa, ON

July 24
J pod passing Land Bank this morning!
Taken from shore, uncropped!
Photo by Jill Hein, July 24, 2015

July 24
From Landbank/West Side Preserve. J pod traveling southbound close to shore.
Photo by Jill Hein, July 24, 2015

July 24
6:41 am - calls and echolocation on Lime Kiln hydrophone. Wake up Superpodders, there's Southern Residents at Lime Kiln.
Alisa LB/ON

July 24
6:18 am - First orca of the day in the same EXACT spot I left them last night. Three stopped to mill off the rocks for several minutes and I was all alone to enjoy it, totally worth being up this early! I caught up to them at LK. J17s for sure. Missed getting an ID on the big male. I completely lost them as they headed south and pushed off shore.
Rachel Haight


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

July 23
8:58 pm -This pair of orcas, including who I'm almost positive is J27 Blackberry, have been in the same exact spot off Land Bank for at least 3 hours now....I was wondering who the other whale might be... He came in a little closer off and on and we could hear him breathing a few times, I got quite a few looks of both saddles over those hours.
Rachel Haight

July 23
Day report: we got to Lime Kiln State Park at 8:15am and spent all day there until 7 pm we then went to Land Bank/West Side Preserve. Groups of J, K and L per Jeanne Hyde and James Taylor. 9:30 am, 10:30 am and 11:30 am with that last group leaving around noonish. Then Jeanne said the small group of J22's Oreo, Cookie and Doublestuf and someone else further out came back south at 2:30. Then another group back north at 6 pm. At 7PM met up with Rachel Haight at Land Bank and watched a couple of others (see Rachel's report above)...I watched a lot of orca's and that is all that matters, my heart was filled-nothing better than just sitting on those rocks and just being in the pure moment(s)!
Marilyn Armbruster

July 23
K44 Ripple and his mom K27 Deadhead northbound in Haro Strait early in the day.
Taken from shore at Lime Kiln State Park.
Photo by Marilyn Armbruster, July 23, 2015

July 23
Tight group passing Lime Kiln northbound early in the day.
Photo by Marilyn Armbruster, July 23, 2015

July 23
A few highlights from today. We had group A of J pod heading up Swanson Channel but then back tracked to see K's and L's in Boundary. Spectacular day! Whales everywhere!
Gary Sutton

July 23
Photo a J37, J14, J45, J40, J41, J19 (from front to back)
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 23, 2015

July 23
Lots of whales including all J's except for J27 J31 and J39 I think. Only K13's and then K21 and K16 and K35 and as far as Ls we had L72 L105 L95 L92 and L55's. Not sure if I saw L47.  I don't recall seeing L47s but there were a lot of whales and I took a lot of pics....Looks like they may have split- J's up Swanson and rest up Boundary - 2nd group def went Boundary Pass.
Barbara Bender

July 23
We were fortunate to be out with members of all 3 pods today off Henry Island and NW San Juan Island between 11:30 am and 1 pm. Breaches and tail lobs and tight groups of porpoising orcas - first heading north then south and then turning north again. There were reports of more orcas off SW San Juan Island as well. It was great to see several large, tight groups rather than the spread out behavior we've been seeing so much of.
Susan Berta, ON

July 23
Noon - Very loud calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone right now.
Kim Merriman

July 23
Here's J36 Alki and her calf J52 this morning off Open Bay.
We had the J16s, K12s, and K13s milling off Open Bay/Kellett Bluff from 10:30-11:30am.
Photo by Monika Wieland, July 23, 2015

July 23
11:30 am - Nice day with the Locals. Caught them about 11:30am off Roche Harbor and followed them North 2 plus hours to North Pender Island. 11 or 12 including at least one baby.
Scott Jenkins

July 23
10:41 am - Lots of action on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone. Not sure what it is exactly, I'm new to this!
CodyAllison Lingbloom

July 23
10:35 am - Orcas at Lime Kiln Lighthouse as seen on web cam.
Kim Merriman

July 23
9:38 am - We have whales approaching the Lighthouse (Lime Kiln) from the south, headed north!
James Taylor

July 23
9:15 am - Unidentified orcas traveling north on the west side towards Pile Point (San Juan Island)
Megan Lewis

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

July 22
9:09 pm - We just watched them go by Lime Kiln.
Photo by Kristen Bogren, July 22, 2015

July 22
9:08 pm - Orca heading south!
Richard Daly

July22
8:23 pm - Southern Resident vocals and echolocation on Lime Kiln again.
7:49 pm - Nice! just heard a couple of calls, sounded like s2iii. On Lime Kiln
Alisa LB, ON

July 22
It was mostly distance viewing this evening off the west side of San Juan Island as Js, Ks, and Ls hung out in tight, highly social groups. But patience paid off and one small group suddenly surfaced close off Land Bank. Here's J26 Mike flying his kelp flags.
Photo by Monika Wieland, July 22, 2015

July 22
5:18 pm - sounds like Ks on Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Alisa, ON

July 22
We were with J's first around False Bay and Eagle Point. 3 males present,  J-27 Blackberry, J34 Doublestuff, and L-87 Onyx. Some intense fishing very close to the (shut down) boat, and lovely females, Princess Angeline J-17, one mom and young calf, too far to get a photo or i.d. Then moved out to Salmon Bank to see transients, T-060 group, who were very purposely moving toward Long Island for a possible harbor seal snack. Lovely!!!
Bonnie Gretz

July 22
J-27 Blackberry traveling Haro Strait
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, July 22, 2015

July 22
11:46 am - Echolocation can be heard live on Lime Kiln hydrophone...and now calls 11:48am.
Alisa Lemire Brooks, ON

July 22
I was on the Peregrine, just off of the Center for Whale Research! Got good looks at the J16s (including both calves), and J26; the rest of J Pod was spread out, mostly very close to shore.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

July 22
We watched J pod head north past the Center for Whale Research heading north at about 10:30 am. Then within an hour they came back by heading south down the west side of San Juan Island. Got to see the babies!
Susan Berta, ON

July 22
9:15 am - Orcas at Lime Kiln heading north. Calls on hydrophone!
Vickie Doyle

July 22
8:22 am - starting to hear orca on Lime Kiln
Connie Bickerton

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

July 21
7:16 pm - Hearing them on the hydrophone.
Shelby Hight Fifield

July 21
6:26 pm - Was just at South Beach and saw a couple Orca headed north.
Janet Helton

July 21
3:45 pm - Was just there during that time...they were the K13s..
Vickie Doyle

July 21
3:45 pm - Faint and sporadic calls on Lime Kiln hydro!
Kim Merriman

July 21
11:13 am - Orca pod RIGHT NOW at Partridge Point (west Whidbey Island).... Slowly moving offshore NW.
Cameron Chandler

July 21
11:13 am - Definitely L87 and J2. Possibly the K14's.
10:54 am - About 12 orcas heading north out of Admiralty Inlet at Partridge, with two males and one calf. Looks like Lobo and Onyx. But everything about this location saysTs. We are trying to get IDs.
Renee Beitzel

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

July 20
Despite some rough conditions we had a nice visit with the K13s near Kellett Bluffs. Here is Scoter (K25) just breaking through the surface.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, July 20, 2015

July 20
We found the K13's north of Lime Kiln, traveling and foraging. this is Scoter K25.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 20, 2015

July 20
K20 Spock (b 1986) and her son K38 Comet (b 2004) cruising along the shoreline of Henry Island in Haro Strait.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 20, 2015

July 20
J14s and K14s and L87 passed the Center for Whale Research heading south at 11 am in windy choppy seas. A breach or two and several big spy hops.
Susan, ON

July 20
Pod heading west around 6:30 am.
Taken from cliffside on Saturna Island (close to East Point).
Photo by James  McLarnon,  July 20, 2015

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

July 19
Active night for the SRKW! Calls heard nonstop on Lime Kiln hydrophone from 5:00pm to 10:55pm, and nonstop on OrcaSound hydrophone from 7:45pm to around 10:45pm (PDT). Incredible!
Cydnie Simons

July 19
8:21 pm - Calls and echolocation on OrcaSound hydrophone right now! Lots of activity!
Jay Schilling

July 19
I saw Onyx go through Active Pass with J's today, into Georgia Strait. Love that big guy!
Photo by Ali Barratt,  July 19, 2015

July 19
4:00 pm - Tight group of 5 orcas heading east.
Taken from cliffside on Saturna Island (close to East Point).
Photo by James James McLarnon,  July 19, 2015

July 19
We spent time with members of JPod, L87 Onyx and the K13's and K14's.
Photo by James Gresham, July 19, 2015

July 19
J2 Granny came back down south to forage with the group off Kellet Bluff, Henry Island.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, July 19, 2015

July 19
 Who's traveling with who these days? We had the J14's, the K14's, K27 and K44 traveling north up Haro Strait yesterday. Here they stopped to socialize. As the K13's came back down south, they took K27 and K44 with them as you might expect.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, July 19, 2015

Bigg's/Transient orcas   
July 22
Good evening! We had a nice little visit with the T60s right outside Friday Harbor this evening. I love it when whales show up on our back doorstep. What a treat! This is the first transient orca encounter we've had in ages and apparently they were traveling up San Juan Channel nailing everything they could catch this afternoon. We should start to see more transient orcas as we get closer to autumn. All those baby seals are being weaned from their mothers and some of them become important food for the orcas. I know it's hard to think about the whales munching on those cute little seals, but everyone has to eat. It's the raw power of nature and it keeps our planet in balance.
Katie Jones

July 22
One of the females spyhopping outside of Park's Bay on Shaw Island.
Photo by Katie Jones,  July 22, 2015

July 22
Had a wonderful encounter just outside Friday Harbor tonight with transients tonight!
Photo by Traci Walter,  July 22, 2015

July 22
Photo by Traci Walter,  July 22, 2015

July 22
Photo by Traci Walter,  July 22, 2015

July 22
5:30 pm -  The whales were on the east side of San Juan Island moving towards Friday Harbor but traveled on NW further towards Shaw Island. It was a group of 5 whales, 3 building the head (1 male, 1 female, 1 juvenile) and 2 more whales following at a bit of a distance. 3-4 harbor seal-kills were witnessed by other people! I need to check my photos if I can find some of the two adults bringing up the rear.
Astrid Heinisch

July 22
Had a magical encounter with the T060s
Photo by Astrid Heinisch, July 22, 2015

July 22
Encounter with the T060s in San Juan Channel
Photo by Astrid Heinisch, July 22, 2015

July 22
...we then moved out to Salmon Bank to see transients, T-060 group, who were very purposely moving toward Long Island for a possible harbor seal snack.
Bonnie Gretz

July 22
Transient family - at Salmon Bank, San Juan Islands, WA.
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, July 22, 2015

July 22
Transient calf
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, July 22, 2015

July 22
T-060
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, July 22, 2015

Unidentified orcas   
(Orcas sighted in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Alisa Schulman-Janiger and Dave Ellifrit have gone over these and could not identify them.)

July 19
1:00 pm - at least 5, possibly as many as 8 animals. Approximately 37.671N, 123.119W ... that's a very inaccurate estimate - I'll try to get GPS coordinates from the boat captain. Traveling vaguely west, but a number of changes in direction were observed. They moved in line abreast for about 5 minutes, then changed direction and milled around for several more minutes. One large male had a notch cut into the trailing edge of his dorsal fin about 3/4 of the way down.
Steve Wood

July 19
Unidentified pod west of The Farallones.
Photo by Steve Wood

July 19
Here is some information about an Orca sighting today at The Farallones.
The sightings were from an Oceanic Society Expeditions boat.
We would really love to know the identity of these whales.  Please let us know once you have figured it out.  Oceanic Society would be thrilled to share this information with its subscribers.
Start of Encounter: 11 am
37  38. 680  N
123  06.285 W
End of Encounter:   1230 pm  
37  43.070   N
123   12.596  W
There were 6 individuals -two large males with large dorsal fins, then two smaller animals with curved fins (possibly females or young males), then two small orcas, not tiny new born, but definitely calves.
Peter Winch

July 19
Orcas west of The Farrallones.
Photo by Peter Winch, July 19, 2015

July 19
Photo by Peter Winch, July 19, 2015

Gray whales
July 22 & 23 
Leigh Novak reports seeing a small Gray whale at dusk on the 22nd heading north towards Dyes Inlet and was awaken at 4:45 am on the morning of the 23rd by it's blows. She has been hearing and seeing a whale over the past few weeks between Manette Bridge and Wheaton Ave/Warren Bridge, Bremerton.  Primarily she has been hearing blows at night  and what sounds like breaching or pec slapping. Last week was the first she could ID as a gray.
(We have received and included several gray whale sightings in the Bremerton area dating back to June 9th-ALB)

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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.

 

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*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.