July 23, 2012

Around the Island We Go

Lots of wildlife today! First we saw about a dozen harbor seals just south of Friday Harbor, hauled up on the rocks. Then, at whale rocks we came across some pelagic cormorants, more harbor seals, plus a huge male stellar sea lion, a very rare sight for this time of year!

Continuing around towards the west side of San Juan Island, we came across at least seven killer whales. Both members of J and L pod were around. We identified L-86 “Onyx,” J-16 “Slick,” and L-92 “Crewser.” The whales were milling about, not in a hurry to go one direction or the other. We had amazing views of their white saddle and eye patches, especially when one orca spy hopped, bringing its head out of the water!
We then continued to circumnavigate the island, slowing just outside Roche Harbor where we saw a harbor seal aggressively foraging for food, two bald eagles, a great blue heron, and a turkey vulture! Not a bad way to end an amazing trip.

~Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris