Several reports of Orca Whales already this morning and it looks like another great day to see the whales in the Salish Sea. We have reports of whales, likely the L-12's near south Lopez Island and reports of more Orca Whales near Cherry Point heading toward Anacortes, likely J's, K's, and the rest of the L-Pod group. Stay tuned for updates.
We had a fantastic day today. We started our morning trip out with a sighting of a bald eagle perched on a tree on Fidalgo island. Next we decided to head north, and it didn't take long before we found all three pods of orcas at the north end of Bellingham Channel. They were swimming southward and the first group we visited were K-pod orcas including Spock, K20, Comet, K38, Skagit, K13, Scoter, 25 and others. After some great viewing with them we broke away and waited for more orcas to swim southward. We could see some of these orcas breaching as they approached. This was a huge group of orcas including J, K, and L pod killer whales. They started to group together and swam by giving everybody a great view as they appeared to be in a resting mode. As they reached the south end of Bellingham Channel The action began again. Multiple orcas started breaching and cartwheeling one after another, including the big males. It was fantastic! Soon they grouped up again in a tight resting mode as we watched them approach Fidalgo Island.
Our afternoon trip started with a surprise just 3 minutes from the dock as we witnessed a bald eagle swoop down, and crash into the water. He came out empty handed, and then flew up to land in a dead snag. We didn't have to travel far again this afternoon to find the orcas. They were just off the south end of Allen Island when we arrived. The first orcas we watched were Raggedy, K40, with Skana, L79, following close behind. There was definitely some mating activity going on between these two, and they swam together and rolled around for a long time. Next we moved on to watch a big group including L78, Gaia, who gave us some great looks. One young orca breached five times in a row. Then a few adults started breaching, and before long it was hard to know where to look because there were so many orcas in so many different directions being active. Soon we decided to peel off and take a look at the Deception Pass Bridge. We spotted another bald eagle there. Next we ventured back out to watch all the orcas one last time. They continued to move westward and we watched two big groups swim by before saying goodbye to our friends, and reaching the end of an awesome whale day! Naturalist Bart Rulon