June 3, 2012

A Marine Mammal Thanksgiving!

Unfortunately there were no reports or sightings of Orcas whales in the region today, but we did get to see an amazing amount of other marine and terrestrial wildlife! We traveled approximately 50 miles round trip visiting Spieden Island, Mandarte, Turn Point (Stewart Island), and Patos Island. On Spieden we found some Mouflon Sheep and a couple Bald Eagles along with numerous Harbor Seals hauled out on small, rocky islets. At Mandarte, we engaged in hundreds of Cormorants building up their nests right on the cliffs, just overlooking the water, creating the ultimate penthouses.

We then headed towards East Point (Saturna Island) where we would soon find ourselves in the midst of a marine mammal gathering. This area, between East Point and Patos Island, is commonly known for its productivity and foraging value due to all the rip tides, upwellings, and different currents coming together. So when we reached the scene, we were immediately indulged in a marine mammal thanksgiving. Everywhere we looked, we saw different animals getting together for their share of fresh fish including 3 Steller Sea Lions, multiple Harbor Seals, Harbor Porpoises, and large swarms of Sea Birds hovering over each group for any left overs. Man was it a sight to see! Who knew marine animals were so similar to humans? Just lure us in with a little bit of food and sure, we’ll come together!

But speaking of food, its dinner time!

Signing off,

Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris