Posts Tagged ‘Common Murre’
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
Whale Watching Report for Monday, April 23, 2012
We pulled out of Friday Harbor under bright skies. There was a whale report of animals near Anacortes headed south. So we headed south down the east side of San Juan Island. We made a stop near the south end of San Juan Island to view about 14 big, fat Stellar Sea Lions. Most were hauled out. The few near water’s edge seemed to be having a vocal and physical ‘tiff’.
I’ll spare you the ½ hour that we and several other boats searched miles of water. When we joined the orcas they were In Haro Straight, SE of Victoria, Canada. And they were headed west into open waters. It was a part of J pod that we were viewing – about 8 animals. They were in traveling mode. We watched the rhythmic up-for- air/down/travel/up-for-air. A youngster gave several tail slaps. And there were a few ‘spy hops’. No vocalizations. We were all a bit mesmerized.
On the way home we had a great view of a mature Bald Eagle at ‘The Cape’. (Capt. Kramer’s spot). Then as we were traveling in, oh we were south of Turn Island between San Juan Island and Lopez Island . . . not 1 or 2 or 3, but more likely 18 – 20 Harbor Porpoise (a guest yelled out at the first sighting). There were also Common Murres about. Then just like yesterday, right in the harbor near the ferry landing a group of Pigeon Guillemots, about 5 of them were fishing.
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012
California Sea Lion
A Warm Spring Day of Whale & Wildlife Watching from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
Today we took off with reports of our resident orcas coming north on the west side of San Juan Island.
We headed out of Friday Harbor going north making a stop at NWR Yellow Island, and rock outcroppings with 43+ snoozing Harbor Seals. We made our way along the coast of Speiden Island. Often times this is a great place to spot Bald Eagles – no Eagle this time. But we did see about 10 Sea Lions. All but one was a Stellar. The other was a California Sea Lion -deep dark brown in color with the telltale knot on his forehead as if he had been clobbered.
We made our way slowly into Haro Straight between Henry Island and Stuart Island. Up came dorsals. Out came whale breath. Over all there may have been 15 – 20 animals. They were traveling in small groups of 6 – 8 and it appeared to me that they were in a resting-style mode.
Residents can be very vocal. No vocalizations today – we dropped the hydrophone three separate times.
Residents can be very playful and energetic. None of that today. Lots of slow “up” and sinking back “down”. The water was glass-like. No wind. No noise. It felt very peaceful bobbing in the water with the engine off.
On the way home we did see at least two mature bald eagles, one in a nest. The boat made another quick stop on the end of Speiden. The Stellars and California Sea Lions were still in the water where we left them. Just before pulling into Friday Harbor we spotted a California Sea Lion hogging a red buoy. I think I saw some zzzzzz’s over his head.
And there was one Common Murre fishing next to the buoy to complete our wildlife viewing for today.
Naturalist, Colleen Johansen
San Juan Safaris Whale & Wildlife Watching