The Twins Take it to the Seals!

Port Angeles

Trip Highlights:
*Transient killer whales, T49C and T77A (the Twins)
*Harbor seals, and harbor porpoise
*A bald eagle, black-bellied plovers, sanderlings, dunlin, dowitchers, a common loon, common      murres, harlequin ducks, and rhinoceros auklets.

We headed east today after looking for whales at the Rock Pile because another boat spotted two killer whales just outside Admiralty Inlet.  It was two male transient killer whales that spend a lot of time together.  They are often referred to as “the twins” because their dorsal fins look very similar to each other, both having two notches in their middle trailing edges.  T49C, a 17 year old, and T77A, a 19 year old are not actually brothers though, but they do spend a lot of time together.  They are killing machines.  Shortly after we arrived on scene with these two bad boys they went on the hunt at the south end of Protection Island.  Approximately 30-40 harbor seals were in the water straining to get a good look at the danger coming their way.  Suddenly the two orcas started circling and it was obvious that the hunt was on.  Without any warning T77A came bursting out of the water in a big breach, and then he followed it up with another half breach!!  Wow!  These two whales must have circled around for at least 20 minutes, and judging by the gulls that started to gather we are pretty sure they must have caught their meal.  The water was so calm that we could hear the loud exhalation blows of the twins especially as they swam right over toward our boat during their meal!  What an amazing experience to watch!

On our way back toward the dock we stopped to check out the lighthouse at Dungeness Spit, and we found lots of wildlife there too, including harbor seals, black-bellied plovers, dunlin, sanderlings, dowitchers, and harlequin ducks near the lighthouse.  As we got close to the end of the spit a huge flock of gulls took flight because an immature bald eagle came flying in for a landing!  It was definitely an awesome day on the water!  Naturalist Bart Rulon

from Blogger


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