June 9, 2016

Falcon Punch! A Peregrine Falcon Shows an Eagle Who's Boss and A Humpback Travels North

Humpback Whale

Yesterday, Captain Pete, Sarah Cutting, and I set off on a classic Pacific Northwest day full of low hanging clouds, mist scarping the trees, and that filtered light that makes all the green in western Washington sing. We started off north and scooted by Flattop Island to look at some Harbor Seals lounging on the rocks and swimming in the kelp beds around this federally protected island. Next we headed further north towards Saturna Island in Canada, right where two major waterways collide. It is an interesting place to be without any wildlife because the colliding waters swirling around these rocks make the surface look like its continually boiling! We watched the Seals playing along the shores of Eastpoint then skimmed along the southern edge of Saturna to continue our search.

We approached Monarch Head, which is an amazing cliff structure, which has a Peregrine Falcon’s nest within its fissures! We immediately spotted the three tiny fluff balls that are the falcon chicks curiously looking back at us from their rocky perch, but there was no sign of mom. Then a Bald Eagle flew by on its way to join its mate on the far cliff and wham! Mother Peregrine Falcon dive-bombed out of no where to harass this bird 5 times larger than it until it left its nest area alone. Pretty cool!

After that we continued on to the west side of San Juan Island to check out a young Humpback Whale! This younger one is making its way up towards the arctic to feed where all its other humpback whale friends will be feeding. It was pretty cool how calm this young one was all alone making it in the big, wide world.

Whale Folks, until next time.

Naturalist Erick

M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris