*Transient killer whales in the T65A, T65B, and T36A pods
*Lots of great bald eagle action
*Harbor seals, osprey, pigeon guillemots, rhinoceros auklets, and more
The morning rain stopped 10 minutes into our trip as we cruised down Guemes Channel. Our first stop of the day was at Pointer Island where we found lots of harbor seals, pigeon guillemots, and a black oystercatcher. While we were watching the seals a bald eagle flew in and landed on the island, followed up a few minutes later by his mate who flew in and landed next to her! What a beautiful sight. Around the corner on Blakeley Island we found another bald eagle swimming in the water! That’s right, I said swimming! He was having trouble getting out of the water with his catch, laboring to use his wings as paddles. Eventually he made it up to the rocks to reveal his catch was a flounder. His mate was perched high above on a tree watching with disinterest.
We made it all the way up the northwest side of Orcas Island where a big group of transient killer whales was swimming tightly together. It was the T65A, T65B, and T36A pods, filled with females and young ones, plus one 12 year old male, T65A2. These whales swam closely together for our entire visit with them and at one point they changed their course and swam right over toward us! Toward the end of our time with them they started getting very active, with some breaches, tailslaps, and a spyhop! It appeared like they must have caught something and probably decided to eat and celebrate at the same time! What a great day out on the water. Naturalist Bart Rulon