July 3, 2019

Bigg's Killer Whale Families Join!

Bigg's Kller Whales Socializing

Laura C. / 7-3-2019 / M/V Kestrel / 3:00pm

This evening’s excursion was full of a variety of wildlife!  Our vessel headed north and just as we headed away from Friday Harbor we saw a bald eagle swoop across our bow overhead.  Within the first five minutes we already had a wildlife encounter!  The bald eagle is one of the few species to rebound as a population and were delisted from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  This area is home to about 150 breeding pairs and are a great addition to our whale watches!  As we headed past San Juan Island we found two beautiful bald eagles on the branches of nearby tree tops.  We were able to get quite close to these wise and majestic birds seated quietly along sturdy branches.  After spending some time with these eagles we made our way to whales! 

We were so happy to see the T65As with another family with two adolescent males!  These whales were showing intense socialization and were performing what looked like foraging behavior but we couldn’t see any prey from the vessel.  These whales could have been just spending time together in a close social group or potentially demonstrating courtship!  It was definitely an impressive group of whales showing a lot of exciting activity today!  After watching these Bigg’s killer whales for quite a while we headed toward Spieden Island. 

Spieden Island was simply awesome today as it was covered with mouflon sheep and fallow deer!  They were all spread across the dry grass and down the rocky ledges close to the shoreline.  It is always so cool to see these non-native species that can be apart of a well-rounded wildlife tour!  Harbor seals were also in abundance today and we had some awesome looks at these colorful individuals as they basked in their banana-like fashion.  There were even a couple of harbor porpoises in the area!  Today was fantastic for wildlife viewing and everyone was quite content with the fun-filled day!