Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
体をじゃりにこすりつけています

A23s and A25s approaching Strider Rubbing Beach follow them https://www.explore.org/liv....

OrcaLab
28 Sep 2020 14:46:01 PDT



Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
体をじゃりにこすりつけています

A23s and A25s approaching Strider Rubbing Beach follow them https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Jennifer
28 Sep 2020 14:37:12 PDT



Orcas approaching Orcalab.
オルカがラボにむかっています

A23s are now in Blackfish Sound heading to Blackney Pass, come and follow them https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Jennifer
28 Sep 2020 11:44:02 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Humpback (s) in Blackfish Sound making some lovely calls.

OrcaLab
27 Sep 2020 06:44:08 PDT



September 26 2020: メAsモ, Humpbacks, PWD, Sea Lions Our day really started at the end of the last. We had been surprised into sudden awareness of rubbing at Strider Beach. What followed were some distant, nondescript calls and some more Pacific White-sided dolphin chatter. The orca calls were on just one station (except for the rub) and always distant. Near to impossible to tell accurately who was out there. The dolphins strangely enough were easier to track westward. They began on the Strider and Main hydrophones at 12:13am and moved west to the Critical Point station by 12:34am. This is the station where the orcas were heard. It was a straight forward progression for the dolphins to Kaizumi Beach hydrophone at 1:08am. Twenty minutes later we heard them even further west off Cracroft Point. They were not close to the hydrophone so probably favouring mid strait or the other side. At 1:36am they were opposite the entrance to Blackney Pass and that is where their trail became cold. A humpback had made his presence known in the same area just before. The rest of the night was quiet. The morning and the rest of the entire day belonged to the humpbacks. Starting at 6:38am an individual began to メsingモ in Blackfish Sound and lasted until 7am. At 11:50am there was a gathering of humpbacks in the Pass. Megan McKenzie observed the scene of the very active whales, unfortunately on the far side. One of these days the humpbacks will finally come closer to our side! Megan took photos and we are in the process of trying to figure out who was there. Someone became vocal between 2:56 and 3:39pm. The strongest calls were shortly after the humpback began. We were disturbed to see in the afternoon that one of the big male sea lions had a fishing flasher stuck in his mouth. He did not look comfortable. Usually, there is nothing that can be done in these situations. The task of helping is difficult and the expertise at a fair distance. The Vancouver Aquarium vets have developed a tranquiliser that is safe to use and they have been successful at aiding sea lions before. But the sea lion needs to stay put long enough for help to arrive. They are awfully big and many in number making it all that much harder. This poor fellow may not get any help but we did report it to Fisheries and Oceans (DFO.ORR-ONS.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca) on the recommendation of Jackie Hildering. At least it will be part of the record. The night looks like it will close out with humpbacks once again. Some pretty nice vocals from 7:50pm to 8:47pm when two tugs in quick succession transited through Blackney Pass into Blackfish where the humpback was. It certainly disturbed the humpbacks train of thought and he soon went quiet. Tried again later a 9:45pm but he no longer seemed interested in continuing.

OrcaLab
26 Sep 2020 22:28:59 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Beautiful humpback in Blackfish Sound.

OrcaLab
26 Sep 2020 20:25:25 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

A vocal humpback was making lovely sounds a few minutes ago! Might continue, so stay tuned!

OrcaLab
26 Sep 2020 15:11:39 PDT



Distant calls audible.
遠くでオルカの声が聞こえます

A bit of a post script to the summary: had written this summary earlier in the eventing when everything was quiet. Surprise, out of "nowhere" the sounds of rubbing at Strider Beach followed by very faint calls further to the west on the Critical Point hydrophone. Now just past midnight and the calls continue.

OrcaLab
26 Sep 2020 00:06:22 PDT



September 25 Pacific White-sided dolphins, Humpbacks, Sea Lions After all the rush of yesterday, after all the wind and rain, today was pretty peaceful. Rivers of water literally poured out from the spongy forest and onto the sloping beach beyond. Mushrooms, beginning to sprout up, dot the forest floor with surprising colour. The slugs are enjoying feasts of chanterelle to anamita. There was even a faint rainbow at the end of the day just before a group of dolphins passed in the fading light. The story of the day belonged to the Sea Lions who hauled out on the local rocks in numbers today. Our count ranged from 95 to 100+. They looked like they were glad to finally find a place to lay their bodies down and snooze. When the sun came out, (yes it really did), steam rose in billows around them as they stretched and growled. Geese flew over today, another marker of the passing seasons. Although the humpbacks continued to call through the night as they did last night, they were quite distant and sparse during the day. We did catch a glimpse of a humpback in the entrance to Blackney Pass. The breath of the humpbacks was amplified by the heavy moisture in the air and it rose high, lingered, then slowly disappeared moments before the next breath. The harlequin ducks have now taken up residency in the bays here joining the ever watchful Uni the seagull and the ever so patient heron. All three species will be with us throughout the winter. Tonight the rising moon made a brief appearance above the dark trees that ring the bay. Overall, it felt like a day to pause and absorb the sky, the ocean and especially the forest now covered in the fallen semi deciduous cedar offerings.

OrcaLab
25 Sep 2020 20:35:23 PDT



September 24 2020: [C06s], T002C痴, T090痴,PWD,Sea Lions A day in the life! After a night of distant but constant humpback calls in Blackfish Sound peppered with dolphin chatter, morning came with shouts of 徹RCA! just after 8am. Everyone came to the Lab for what would turn out to be a rather epic 6 hours of watching Bigg痴 orcas travel back and forth in Blackney Pass in pursuit of finding a bite to eat. The group of 7-8 by our count were together travelling slowly southward while closer to the far side of the Pass. There were two males, one fully adult and the other looked to be younger, the rest were a mix of females and juveniles. There was a lot of back and forth so progress was slow. We had the quick impression that they were already on the hunt. We could not tell if they were successful yet but they did catch the attention of a large whale watching sailboat that motored closer to their position. This worried us because if the whales were seriously hunting they would be sensitive to disturbance. There were quite a few sea lions in the water and none hauled out as the timing of the tides was not conducive. The orcas did not seem immediately interested. Continuing south, the orcas were about half way along Parson Island just after 9am when about 50 + dolphins rushed into Blackney Pass from the north. They passed fairly close to us then suddenly did an abrupt turn into Hanson Island and swept by even closer and disappeared back to Blackfish Sound. Had they got wind of the orcas? Just after this the orcas took a deep dive and we momentarily lost track of them. Acoustic clues, bangs, whistles and more bangs, directed our attention and the remote Parson camera toward the area of Blackney Pass just beyond our view. There, on the Baronet Passage side of Cracroft Island were the Bigg痴 again moving back and forth making short transits of the area. There were a few calls along with whistles and a few sharp 都nap sounds as if they had made a direct hit. The view was still distant and it was not clear what they had found but we were quite convinced that they had by now had successfully got something. They continued to work the area now as two groups simultaneously working together but somewhat independently at the same time. It now dawned on us that there were two different families here and we began to review the photos from earlier and look in the ID catalogue for possible matches. Megan (McKenzie) compared photos of the larger male and noted similarity to the male in the T02C family. The young male was travelling close to the older one this caused some confusion as the count of two males did not match the profile of the T02Cs. We left off trying to match IDS as we were kept busy following the whales as they continued to hunt. Gradually they moved closer and closer to where Blackney Pass runs into Johnstone Strait. And still the back and forth. The hunt seemed to be lasting a very long time. The whales breached, porpoised and breached some more. At one point it looked as if a small cetacean was fleeing their pursuit. All the while the occasional call, whistles and echo location. By 12pm, the orcas had shifted over to Hanson Island. They regrouped and then headed into the little pass, dubbed 鏑ittle Blackney between Hanson Island and the small island, dubbed 鏑ittle Hanson. They disappeared from our view but our expectation was that they would emerge and travel close to Hanson Island (our side of the Pass). However, a large grey zodiac had entered 鏑ittle Blackney Pass from the opposite direction and after seven minutes the orcas reappeared from where they had first entered, they had turned around. They headed out a short way, looking like they might head out to the Strait. They breached, tail and pec slapped. Five minutes later the grey zodiac also reappeared and was soon joined by another whale watching zodiac. The determined Bigg痴, having made up their minds to go back into Blackney Pass, regrouped once more and at 12:50pm they turned north and travelled this time on the outside this time of Little Hanson Island. When they came into our view they angled out and crossed over to Parson Island. At first they were all together but once more they split into similar groups, with the two males together in the one group of five and three in the other. Just before 2pm, the male group was off West Pass while the group of three were further south opposite Harbledown Island. By now we had the identities of the two groups thanks to the arrival of Jared Towers. Indeed it was the T02Cs, as we had guessed, as well as the T090s, the family to which the younger male actually belonged. Confusion sorted. Finally, around 2:30pm the orcas decided to head into Blackfish Sound and out of our immediate view. It had been quite the day and really interesting watching how the Bigg痴 handled the presence of boats while hunting. There had been the definite impact of the grey zodiac in the small pass causing the whales to turn back. Their breaches and tail slaps in the presence of the boats afterwards and before redoubling efforts to come north seemed like a definite statement. Earlier we had worried that the sailboat had been too persistent in its intentions and had caused the orcas to dodge back and forth. Hunting is a very sensitive and difficult activity. Earning a living this way is not an option, it is a necessity. Success is not a given. Perhaps this thought needs to better guide and inform boating behaviours around these whales. Our day had one more flavour. At 2:27pm Kate Brauer reported that Resident orcas had passed Bere Point and that they were headed east. Jared, already out and about, found the C6s eastbound at Lizard Point. So we waited. Expecting something to happen soon but nothing. Eventually however, the wind and rain came to overtake the night and saturate the forest.

OrcaLab
25 Sep 2020 10:04:30 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby
コールは聞こえませんが、オルカは近くにいます

The T090's and the T02C's have finally made their way back into Blackfish Sound which is where the originally came from. After hours of trying from land, Jared Towers managed to identify them for us. Thanks Jared!

Orca
24 Sep 2020 14:44:29 PDT



No orcas present.
オルカは近くにいません

The group of Bigg's Orcas off the entrance of Blackney Pass and are hunting! Watch live:https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
24 Sep 2020 09:38:22 PDT



Orcas approaching Orcalab.
オルカがラボにむかっています

Orca in Blackney Pass follow them https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Jennifer
24 Sep 2020 08:15:14 PDT



Distant calls audible.
遠くでオルカの声が聞こえます

A rather nice humpback in Blackfish Sound - not close but persistently there!

OrcaLab
24 Sep 2020 02:00:19 PDT



September 23 2020 鄭s heard, Humpbacks Twister, Merge, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Dall痴 porpoise. Sea Lions Throughout the morning the strong winds slowly diminished only to be replaced by heavy rain and a couple of loud thunder claps close overhead. The ocean and the sky became equally grey. With it being so dry lately we all had to learn how to dodge about without getting totally soaked each time. We pretty much failed and there are a lot of clothes hanging about hoping to dry eventually. The extra blankets for beds and fires being lit once again in the stoves suggests that the seasons have really turned. Another indication that things are shifting, the humpbacks, for really the first time,have started to show more inclination for coming together. With three humpbacks in the Pass around 6pm, two, opposite the Lab, began to slap their pectoral fins and wave them and their flukes in the air. Sometimes these displays from these ever so big creatures can be very dramatic and the effects heard right across the water. We did have indications that the Resident orcas were around but the clues were few and far between. At 10:43am there were just two rubbing sounds. A glance at the Strider remote camera showed a group of dolphins just offshore heading west. Unlikely that the dolphins made those rub sounds but lately, dolphins have been accompanying the orcas so possibly this was the case in this situation. So we waited on what might happen nearer to Robson Bight. Sure enough starting at 11:11am there was definite orca echolocation. No calls, no clues as to who but our guess was that they were headed west. At 3:16pm, we finally heard some very distant calls in Blackfish Sound. Possibly the whales had travelled through from Johnstone Strait via Weynton Pass and were on their way out to Queen Charlotte Strait. Four hours later, Kate Brauer, braving the rain, reported six orcas passed Bere Point about 11/2 miles off the Malcolm Island shore. A big male was out in the lead. The Sea Lions waited for the high tide to begin dropping before jumping on to the Hanson Rocks. Could see this happening but it was already getting dark so their presence was mostly noted by their growls and grunts. Perhaps the night can expect the humpbacks to announce their presence as well!

OrcaLab
24 Sep 2020 01:50:26 PDT



September 21 and September 22: A34s,A23s, A25s, Humpbacks: Squiggle and Claw, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Sea Lions What a difference a day makes! Tempting to kind of glance over the 21st except there was the exciting news that the A34s, who had been west of Port Hardy the day before with the A42s and A24s, were seen travelling south-east through Gordon Channel, near Hurst Island where Suzie id located, around 1:49pm. Encouraging to say the least and a bit of compensation for the lack of orcas down our direction and an Internet, which decided, in the afternoon, to completely fail. Having to keep the day痴 events to the log book and not sharing with everyone immediately felt strange. The day was pretty uneventful. Megan, who had gone in with Paul and Kelly to retrieve the last of the lumber from Alert Bay, saw a Minke Whale just off the dock at 3:15pm. The Minke Whales in this seem to like the ocean spaces around Alert Bay and can often be seen there reliably. Minke Whales dive for 20 minutes at times so patience or luck is often needed. A humpback obliged from time to time from 4:55pm to 6:04pm. This completed our day. The following shifts in the Lab were uneventful and the night rolled easily into next day. September 22: The Fall Equinox! Fall arrived with a misty morning sky full of colour, autumn yellows and autumn oranges, covering the rising sun. Promising! Then came the calls, A34s, at 7:57am. Even more promising! They made it back! With them were the A23s and A25s. The groups called and called as they shifted back and forth in Blackfish Sound. For almost two hours we recorded, we waited, we watched until finally at 9:45am the A23s came into view. By then the A34s had grown distant. What was their story? Were they leaving after travelling so far? Whatever their destination, we needed focus on tracking the A23s, and the following A25s, through the Pass. It was sunny, there were blue skies, it was the first orcas we had seen in more than a day, and they were finally moving away from Blackfish Sound! Our Internet woes manifested itself in very shaky connections. The Flower Island hydrophone in Blackfish Sound required a reboot every two to three minutes. There was no public access so all the fits and starts were only really frustrating to ourselves. Then of course, the orcas after all the calls, whistles and echolocation they did in Blackfish Sound, fell near silent as they approached the next station on Parson Island. Despite the now ebbing tide (it turned at 9am) the two families made it through to Johnstone Strait and headed for Vancouver Island. By 11:17am we figured they were nearing Kaizumi Rubbing Beach. Jenn heard, a short while later, at 11:40am, calls off the entrance to Blackney Pass. We later surmised that this was probably the A34s who must have chosen Weynton Pass as their path to Johnstone Strait. Remember, their calls faded while in Blackfish Sound. Someone made a quick rub at Kaizumi but generally everyone continued toward the east. Another casualty of the failed wireless network was the hydrophone in Robson Bight called Critical Point. Without it we were deaf to the movements of the orcas over the next while. They turned up on Strider Rubbing Beach, both on the still working hydrophone and camera at 2:23pm. They stayed in this area, including Main Rubbing Beach, until 4:40pm. There was, like earlier, a lot of back and forth. Dolphins were there too. Fortunately, by this time our technical problems had been determined and a temporary fix put in place. We once again had a full network and WIFI! The problems with Flower Island were fixed and eventually even Critical Point was reconnected. We were now well into the afternoon and the skies had grown grey and the wind had freshened steadily throughout the day. The advent of Fall brought a change in the weather and a changing of the guard as well. The A34s have seemingly stepped into the shoes left by the A30s who had departed on August 31. Both groups belong to the A1 pod and for decades the A1s have been a, if not the, major presence in this area. For some reason, the A30s and the A34s often exchange places with each other, in this manner, while maintaining the same social position. When we last saw the orcas today they were heading back to the west. However, they offered few clues to their actual whereabouts after their time at Strider. At 5:15pm there was a single call heard but we are not even sure on which hydrophone. We just didn稚 catch it in time.The tide was flooding as of 3:08pm. Was their move towards shore just west of Strider an indication of a turn? Did they take the easy way and 堵o with the flow? We are often left, in moments of no calls, wondering what the orcas are going to do next. Usually we just have to wait. Meanwhile, humpbacks often fill in the gaps. Starting early tonight, a humpback began to vocalize in Blackfish Sound at 6:33pm. It is now almost 10pm, and he, if he is the same one, is still at it, having moved on to the Parson Island hydrophone.

OrcaLab
22 Sep 2020 22:29:14 PDT



Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
体をじゃりにこすりつけています

Orcas rubbing at Strider Rubbing Beach, follow them on https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Jennifer
22 Sep 2020 14:51:36 PDT



September 20 2020: A23s, A25s, Humpbacks, PWD, Sea Lions To start things off a travelling balladeer humpback went from Blackfish Sound to the entrance of Blackney Pass between 1:33am and 2:30am. Ten minutes before 6am another (or perhaps the same) humpback got Helena out of bed and to the Lab. It was just before the shift change, Megan was due to oversee the Lab from 6am on. Helena checked the systems and the audio stream before leaving the Lab to Megan. A short while later, Megan heard A5 calls on Kaizumi Rubbing Beach at 6:42am. The last we had been aware of the A23s and A25s was when they were in Blackfish Sound yesterday evening. They obviously made it back to the Strait sometime during the night. Ten minutes after the first calls the A5s carried on slowly to the east. Kaizumi is not very far from Robson Bight but the whales took their time and sauntered into the Bight around 8:33am. Their echolocation became stronger at 8:33am and close three minutes later. They were now passing the eastern headland on their way to the beaches. Dolphins became chatty off Strider Rubbing Beach at 8:51am and 6 minutes later louder off Robson Bight. Were they going in the opposite direction to the orcas or just spread out between the two stations? We would later see how many dolphins had gathered in the Strait. By 9:16am the whales were visible on the remote Strider camera and by 9:20am they were in for the rub. A60 was the most prominent and managed a two minute rub before heading east. A109 followed. The rub sounds were close and distinctive. Ever heard rain sticks? - that is exactly what a rub sounds like. While the rub continued at Strider we heard calls on the Main rubbing beach hydrophone as well. Main is just a hop skip and jump east of Strider. The rubs stopped at 9:30am and the calls faded off by 9:43am as the orcas carried on to the east and away from the Ecological Reserve. They would go fairly far to Centre Johnstone Strait. Our day rolled on with plans to go back to Alert Bay for more deck lumber. We are hoping to replace a fairly large section of the old deck but it's going to require a fair amount of wood, more than one trip. Yesterday, we managed to bring some of the wood late in the day which meant unloading in the dark. Today, we were determined to get an earlier start on the 2nd load. So as soon as the boat floated Jenn, Megan (McKenzie) and Paul were off. Just as they were leaving a sea lion grabbed a huge salmon right off the Lab and dramatically thrashed it about before swallowing. It began to rain and then rain all afternoon. Jenn and Paul got a load onto the June Cove despite the rain and headed homeward with Megan who had been on other errands. By the time the wood was unloaded everyone was soaked but feeling very satisfied to have accomplished this task. As Paul, Jenn, and Megan changed into dry clothes and got warmed up with hot chocolate, Helena and Megan (Hockin-Bennett) recounted their afternoon experience of watching dolphins and orcas on the Strider remote camera. The first clue that something was about to happen were the excited dolphin calls off Robson Bight at 3:14pm. On a hunch we turned on the camera only to see 200+ dolphins in a large chorus line heading east just offshore at top speed past Strider. They made a large, quick swing round that took them close to the Vancouver Island shore. They then swept over Strider to the west in a rush. It was now 3:22pm. During this episode Scott let us know that the A23s/A25s were not far away, just east of the Reserve and heading west. What a dance! Passing by the Main Beach, the orcas went into Strider Beach for what would be an hour long rub. The rub began at 3:58pm and ended at 4:37pm. There was something about the pace of this rub. Not the longest one we have recorded but it was both unhurried and intense at the same time. The two families were there together. Each individual seemed to stand out, especially the two large males who glided past several times eclipsing whoever else was nearby. Megan called them out for photo bombing! At one point the A25s (A61,A85 and A121) occupied the same frame. In another moment A61 became very agitated. He slapped his tail repeatedly while almost shaking his head. We could see no reason for his actions. The little baby, A121, was being quite freewheeling, A60 was coming closer. A61 eventually calmed down and resumed previous behaviours. The rub sounds were quite strong and the whales suddenly moved more quickly just toward the end of the rub. They went off to the west. Megan and Helena were very impressed by what had happened, from dolphins to orcas rubbing, the hour had flown by. Afterwards we ran into a few technical difficulties but by chance they briefly righted just as the orcas got back to Robson Bight. By this time the June Cove had arrived back and they were needed to help unload. About an hour later the systems were better and we went back to full monitoring. Some echolocation was heard at 6:36pm but there was no specific source. At 7:53pm there were calls in Blackfish Sound. A humpback obliged with a grumble at 7:58pm. The orca calls resumed at 8:18pm. The calls were faint, the whales moving away to the west. Since then a humpback in Blackfish Sound tried warming up with a series of deep short whups at 10:31pm. The 吐loor and the night might just be his!

OrcaLab
21 Sep 2020 01:28:30 PDT



Distant calls audible.
遠くでオルカの声が聞こえます

https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base No calls but orcas nearby After a large group of dolphins swept Strider beach and then went close to the Vancouver Island shore to the west. The A25s and A23s followed them past the Main rubbing beach to Strider. Rubbing now.

OrcaLab
20 Sep 2020 15:46:08 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby
コールは聞こえませんが、オルカは近くにいます

After a large group od dolphins swept Strider beach and then went close to the Vancouver Island shore to the west. The A25s and A23s followed them past the Main rubbing beach to Strider. Rubbing now.

OrcaLab
20 Sep 2020 15:41:49 PDT



Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
体をじゃりにこすりつけています

A5 heading to Strider Rubbing Beach, lets hope for a beautiful morning rub. Follow them with this link https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Jennifer
20 Sep 2020 09:18:43 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Some really lovely calls from the A5's right now at Kazumi. Often when it's just the one group in the whales don't feel such a need to vocalise as much and knowing that there are other groups possibly coming into the area soon (all fingers and toes crossed) maybe the A5's are excited about something. It's been a while since we heard them express themselves like this and it really is lovely!

Megan
20 Sep 2020 06:52:06 PDT



Distant calls audible.
遠くでオルカの声が聞こえます

Humpback in Blackfish warming up.

OrcaLab
20 Sep 2020 06:09:43 PDT



September 19 2020: A23s, A25s, [A34s,A24s,A42s Pine Island area], Humpbacks So this was a good one! Following a similar pattern to previous days, the A23s and A25s were in Johnstone Strait overnight. They could be heard passing over Strider Rubbing Beach briefly at 1:56am and Main Rubbing Beach a few minutes later. They went east and out of range soon after. Nothing of note happened until a humpback called from 6:30 - 6:40am. Jim Borrowman, in his capacity as Warden to the Ecological Reserve, went off in the smoggy/foggy morning to check on the Rubbing Beaches and take a few photos. They had just finished doing so when they heard a familiar blow! The A23s and A25s were coming back to the west along the Vancouver Island shore. Given this heads-up we took a closer look on the remote cameras and sure enough there they were, a few headed towards the Main Rubbing Beach at 10:30am. The smog was not even that bad and was beginning to burn off so we could see some distance offshore as well. Jim moved further out ahead of the whales advance and remained stationary. From the Strider camera we could see Jim痴 position and the whales approaching along the shoreline. One of the first individuals was clearly visible, seen from above, underwater and made a beautiful turn without taking a breath and swam back towards the others. A61, A109, paused, had a short rub from 10:34 to 10:37am and then carried on to the west. There were others, including probably A60, further offshore and likewise heading west, last seen around 10:43am. Just ten minutes later they were approaching Robson Bight. A61 was ahead of the second group to pass the remote camera. All the while, the orcas made calls, whistles and echo location. A85 and her baby Twilight, not travelling with uncle A61, were seen offshore at 11:08am. Calls were heard until 11:16am. The orcas made it to Kaizumi Beach area by 11:59am. Here again they whistled, called and echolated their way to the west not really hesitating too long before approaching Cracroft Point (12:44pm) and the entrance to Blackney Pass (12:54pm). Some of the the orcas (the A25s) had crossed over from Vancouver Island Noise from two boats, the Coastal Nomad and the John P. Tully (Coast Guard) close by, soon drowned out the calls. Megan, after taking April to Telegraph Cove (April is off to Victoria to begin a new job), was surprised to find the A25s, all together now, breaching west of Big Bay on the Hanson Island side. She could see the A23s mid strait favouring Vancouver Island still. As an interlude, a humpback called briefly at 3:15pm and again at 4:07pm in Blackfish Sound. The orcas made it to Weynton Pass where Matchu from Double Bay, on his way into Alert Bay, saw the whales. He later described how, after turning off the engine when seeing the whales approaching, one individual swam close, turned and looked directly at him. Eventually, the A23s and A25s made it to Blackfish Sound. They were there by the time Helena and Paul returned from Alert Bay before 7pm.. As the June Cove entered Blackney Pass from the Strait they counted 90+ sea lions spread out on three rocks on the Hanson shore. As the boat was settled and unloaded of its lumber and other supplies the A23s/A25s faded off having never made it to Blackney Pass. Just perhaps, their increased interest in rubbing (however brief), their breaching, their increased number of calls (they have been so quiet) were an indication that the orca scene is about to shift. Jared Towers called out today to investigate a report of a dead orca west of Port Hardy, instead came across the A34s, A42s and A24s opposite Pine Island. As they were mainly floating when he and Ellie came upon them, he surmised that maybe the tug had seen a stationary orca and mistook it for dead. The whales were probably just tuckered out after perhaps travelling far. The big question of course is whether or how long before the A23s/A25s connect with them and will they convince them to extend their travels to the Johnstone Strait area? That would be nice! We would like to thank April for all her hard work and enthusiasm. We wish her well.

OrcaLab
20 Sep 2020 05:03:33 PDT



A25s heading west in Johnstone Strait!

April
19 Sep 2020 10:51:19 PDT



Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
体をじゃりにこすりつけています

A25s currently rubbing on Main Rubbing Beach & Strider Rubbing Beach! Watch with us at https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

April
19 Sep 2020 10:35:03 PDT



September 18 2020: A23s,A25s,Humpbacks The night began with orcas and not humpbacks this time. The Lab became aware of rubbing sounds just before 1am (1:58am) on Strider Rubbing Beach. The A23s/A25s presumably had not left Johnstone Strait since the previous afternoon sightings. The rubbing sounds were followed by faint calls within the vicinity of the Ecological Reserve as if the orcas were shifting back and forth for a while. The calls were sporadic - just enough to keep the Lab shifts awake. At 3:15am the calls were back off the Robson Bight area. A humpback began to warm up in Blackfish Sound about 15 minutes later and broke into full voice by 3:48am. Just past 4am, he finished. The acoustic baton was tossed back to the orcas who were heard once again in the Strait at 4:10am. The humpback briefly called out at 4:12am for another 5 minutes. The intermittent orcas resumed at 4:25am and again at 5:20am. You get the picture - the Lab did not sleep! One last humpback effort in Blackfish at 5:57am ended the acoustic hopscotch. Time for a bit of a break. At 11:15am the A5s announced that they had not gone very far and back near the Bight. These calls ended at 12:09pm and the orcas were not heard again until 1:34pm off Strider Rubbing Beach. Possibly the two matrilines had split, with one group (possibly the A23s) trailing the lead group (possibly the A25s). Generally both were heading west. BY 2:14pm one group had progressed west of the Bight nearing Kaizumi. The others were perhaps still closer to the Bight. A3:41pm we got a little help with the puzzle. Chris on Ocean Magic II reported that the A25s were east of Big Bay on Hanson Island. He later reported the A23s heading west off Big Bay at 4:32pm. Both groups had skipped past the entrance to Blackney Pass choosing instead to head toward the western end of Hanson Island. From there we believe the two groups exited Johnstone Strait via Weynton Pass. We heard their calls next in Blackfish Sound at 6:18pm after they had come 殿round. By 6:45pm they were seen by Scott (Prince of Whales) heading east in Blackfish Sound towards Blackney Pass. We could see them by turning the Sea Lion remote camera towards Blackfish. Two males moved away from the Hanson Island shore toward Flower Island. It was the beginning of a turn. At 7:39pm, despite losing the last of the evening light, we could see that they were now heading west and away. We never saw them in Blackney. True to form a humpback at 8:18pm began to sing, not particularly close, but lasting until 9pm. Megan commented how it suddenly feels like Fall - really only four days to the Equinox!

OrcaLab
18 Sep 2020 22:22:02 PDT



We have a humpback singing on Flower Island. TUNE IN!

Megan
18 Sep 2020 20:20:40 PDT



Orcas near mics.
オルカがマイクのそばにいます

We have the A23's and A25's heading south in Blackfish sound towards Blackney Pass. Follow along with us with Explore:https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Megan
18 Sep 2020 18:48:42 PDT



We are including here the summaries for the 16th and the 17th. SEPTEMBER 16TH 2020: No orcas: Humpbacks: Argonaut and Stitch, Sea Lions and Dall痴 Porpoise The stars finally returned last night! 9:20am - the smoke slowly dissipated and the beautiful, loud blow of a humpback warmed my heart this morning. We haven稚 heard the blows quite this loud since the smoke arrived. Along with the humpback, who was ID壇 as 登ur local Argonaut, Steller Sea Lions and around six Dall's porpoises closed in around Argonaut.. Argonaut began milling & diving (4-15 minute dives, typically 6 breaths and then down) from White Beach to Parson Island. He was very possibly feeding as the steller sea lions and birds kept close. I captured a steller sea lion with a salmon mid way down his throat, and realized what an amazing congregation the fish had facilitated. At 2pm, the humpback Stitch joined. Feeding festivities occurred all day! At 2:15pm a humpback was seen leaving Blackney Pass to the northeast. Then at 5:15pm a humpback was heard warming up on the Parson Island hydrophone! The noises were very unique! Hilarious gurgles and clear whoops. All went quiet at 5:54pm. 1 HB (Possibly Stitch) seen at White Beach at 5:17pm. Despite heavy boat noise we heard beautiful humpback vocals in Blackfish Sound. After 5 minutes the humpback went quiet, began again and by 8:32pm the beautiful song resumed. He was silent again by 8:46pm. September 17 2020: A23s,A25s, Humpbacks: Argonaut The vocal humpback(s) picked up where they left off the previous evening in Blackfish Sound at 12:20am. For the next several hours the humpback sustained a great effort. A boat interrupted the flow of calls and eventually became very loud. The humpback was not heard again until 3am when he gave a few tries over the next hour. At 4:15am with an absence of boat noise the humpback stretched his voice once again and broke into a beautiful 都ong . By this time there may have been two present in Blackfish Sound. Inexbicably the calls began to slow down around 4:22am. All was silent by 4:31am. A break. Just before noon, and after a day's absence, definite signs of Northern Residents returning! At 11:59am echolocation and A5 calls were heard in Blackfish Sound. As increasing boat noise made listening difficult Argonaut was seen in Blackney Pass. Eventually, more echolocation was heard and looking on the Sea Lion remote camera Jenn found the A23s in Blackfish Sound. Pretty good considering the still very smokey conditions. The A23s and A25s then slipped south through the Pass and at 12:42 were past Parson Bay. The A23s were in the lead with the A25s following. As they took the last leg of Blackney Pass and headed toward Johnstone Strait a few calls were heard. These groups have not been overly expressive when in the area! By 1:04pm some more echolocation disclosed their nearness to Kaizumi Rubbing Beach. They progressed eastward from there and by 2:11pm the A23s were visible on the Robson Bight remote camera. They went around the eastern headland a few minutes later with the A25s still following. By 2:45pm the A23s arrived at Strider Rubbing Beach, the A25s came 2 minutes later. The rub started at 2:32pm and lasted till 3:06pm. During their rub they finally became far more expressive producing whistles, unusual calls and rubbing sounds as they moved their bodies over the pebbles. They went east and arrived at the Main Rubbing Beach by 3:11pm. The order was the same,A23s first, followed by the A25s. Rubbing stopped at 3:15pm. The A25s moved offshore and continued east past the Ecological Reserve. We lost track of the A23s but at 3:26pm there were calls on Strider Rubbing Beach again. Megan returning from Port McNeill came across a group of 4 Bigg痴 orcas travelling mid strait opposite Blinkhorn but closer to the Hanson Island side at 3:35pm. Jared had reported earlier at 2:35pm that there was a group in Weynton Pass. Connecting the dots it seems reasonable to assume that the group Megan saw was one and the same as that in Weynton an hour earlier. Since 4pm, all has been uneventful. Still a few hours left and dark descending seems often to be a cue for the humpbacks to begging their serenades. So we will see.

April & Helena
17 Sep 2020 21:38:07 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby
コールは聞こえませんが、オルカは近くにいます

A23s and A25s now approaching Strider, follow on http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Jennifer
17 Sep 2020 14:29:40 PDT



Orcas (may be) approaching cameras.
オルカがカメラにむかっている?

Here they are ! Come and follow them http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Jennifer
17 Sep 2020 12:28:44 PDT



Distant calls audible.
遠くでオルカの声が聞こえます

Finally a few faint calls on FI from Orcas. Lets hope they will keep coming this way. Follow them on http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Jennifer
17 Sep 2020 12:02:31 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Beautiful Humpback song http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Jennifer
17 Sep 2020 04:11:36 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

An other beautiful Humpback song http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Jennifer
17 Sep 2020 04:10:11 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Again the humpback!

Orcalab
17 Sep 2020 00:25:56 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

We have a humpback singing beautifully on our Flower Island hydrophone!

April
17 Sep 2020 00:24:53 PDT



No orcas present.
オルカは近くにいません

Sorry, just as I posted the humpback stopped - classic!

OrcaLab
16 Sep 2020 21:11:21 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Beautiful, beautiful humpback singing in Blackfish Sound.

OrcaLab
16 Sep 2020 20:46:01 PDT



September 15 2020: A23s, Humpback: Argonaut, Sea Lions One of the joys of the OrcaLab system is that you can listen to our hydrophones no matter where you are in the world and former assistants who were unable to come to Canada this year due to Covid are still able to play a part! Whether it is Tomoko and Momoko listening in Japan and helping out with the acoustic identifications in the early hours of the Lab痴 morning; or TJ in Mexico tuning in from the dog shelter where she works or the beach during after hours; or Karien and Bianca in Europe; or Emily and Alicia in the States; or Pippa on her road trip listening while snuggled with Moss in her car; or more Dylan in Vancouver and Suzie in Port Hardy, everyone (including many not mentioned) feel in step with what is happening. Social media really helps. So whether events like the humpback in Blackfish Sound vocal from 1:21am for just 10 minutes, or the humpback at 5:09am who vocalised beautifully for almost the next hour off Robson Bight, or the brief A5 calls and rubbing sounds at Kaizumi in the afternoon from 2:36pm to 2:41pm, the window we get into the lives of these whales can be so immediate and even intimate - a world normally closed to us all. Very happy we get to share this with an appreciative world-wide audience too. This horrible fire-smoke fog has reduced the visual world incredibly. We did manage to see and identify Argonaut in the Pass at 1:15pm. (Is he and Inukshuk the consistent 都ingers) Day, however, has pretty much become night, with listening rather than looking, used primarily for clues about the whales. It helps, of course, if the whales co-operate and are vocal. Not always the case these days. The A5s have been so very quiet that they have not been very helpful to our cause. However, there is a great network of observers too. Scott from Prince of Whales was out and about on this choppy, smoggy day, and helped us out with what the A23s were doing in Johnstone Strait. He reported that the A23s at 11:45am that he saw A43 and A69 spread out in the Strait heading east just south of Blinkhorn Peninsula. Conditions were very rough so Scotty didn稚 go very far. James on the Grizzly Girl found the orcas off Blinkhorn at approximately 3:15pm. [Remember we had heard them at 2:36pm at Kaizumi which is closer to Bight so after sometime after that the A23s must have turned back west.] Scott took his cue from James and found the westing A23s off Bauza Islets a short while later after James report. The conditions were calmer and the whales were spread out all the way to Weynton Passage: A60 by Weynton Passage, A43 and A109 by Bauza Islet. He last saw them at 4:05pm. The rest of the afternoon and evening were quiet. The vocal humpbacks were waiting for the early morning hours once more.

OrcaLab
16 Sep 2020 13:16:21 PDT



Humpback whale Argonaut has been in Blackney Pass for most of the morning. It looks like he's finding food as there is also a-lot of birds around! Watch live now! https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Megan
16 Sep 2020 13:13:22 PDT



September 14 2020: A5s, Humpbacks, Dall痴 Porpoise, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Sea Lions In the morning hours there was the usual serenade of humpback from 12:19am to 1:29am. April is taking a keen interest in these recordings trying to figure out phrasing similarities. We have also isolated several common calls. The recent lull in orca activity has given us the time to turn our attention to the humpbacks once again. Disappointedly with the cover of smoke haze, it is near impossible to visually identify the humpbacks using the Pass in the daytime so these nighttime events are even more special. On cue a humpback started up once again at 8:35pm and interestingly was doing a very similar refrain as the previous recordings. April, able to follow the patterns, speculated that there were improvements to the 都ong since the September 11 recordings, maybe even another individual practising from the same 都ong sheet. We have also become very aware of the sea lion activity which has definitely ramped up in the last few days. At 11:10am we could just make out, through the haze, two sea lions hauling out along the Hanson Island shore. As the rest of the day unfolded and by 5:25pm several more sea lions hauled out on the same rock. Paul and Helena passing the rock on the way to Alert Bay counted over 30 sea lions and Megan later counted 56. A year ago the count was 61. Two hours later the steady roar and growl through the misty darkening skies continued. Cetaceans had their moments during the day as well. At 11:43am, Megan noticed some very exercised Dall痴 Porpoise out front of the Lab. They were chasing something at high speed and as quickly they had appeared, they disappeared. A few moments later at 11:58am we suddenly heard rubbing at Strider Rubbing Beach. We just had enough time to start a recording and take a quick look with the camera. There were two individuals heading west with a small group of Pacific White-sided dolphins. That was it! We then waited for them to arrive at Robson Bight. The poor visibility again took its toll. It was impossible to sustain a proper connection over the wireless radio network so we had to make a choice, listen or continue trying to see something on camera. We chose to listen. Indeed, we were rewarded by some echo location but no immediate calls. As the whales went west they made a few faint calls that allowed us to identify them as A5s. This was logical as the A23s and A25s had been east. We don稚 know if both groups made it back but there is a good chance as they had been close to each other during their travels. They never made many more calls through the afternoon. At 6:42pm Nicole reported orcas off of Flower Island in Blackfish Sound heading west. This report was followed by a few 鄭 calls at 6:59pm. Not sure what the travel plans had entailed and how these orcas got to Blackfish Sound as no blows had been heard in Blackney Pass. Whatever their path it was clear that they were now headed west. For day痴 end - the vocal humpback and those growling sea lions. The night never seems to be ever completely silent but that is the way we like it!

OrcaLab
14 Sep 2020 21:58:21 PDT



Sea lions are hauling out on (and behind) Sea Lion Rock! Follow along with us at https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
14 Sep 2020 17:25:34 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby
コールは聞こえませんが、オルカは近くにいます

After silence for over a day, we have orcas coming back from the east. We haven't heard any calls yet, but we did hear a brief bud on the Strider hydrophone. So good to have them back!

Orcalab
14 Sep 2020 12:19:11 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby
コールは聞こえませんが、オルカは近くにいます

After silence for over a day, we have orcas coming back from the east. We haven't heard any calls yet, but we did hear a brief bud on the Strider hydrophone. So good to have them back!

Orcalab
14 Sep 2020 12:18:05 PDT



September 13 2020: [A23s, A25s eastern Johnstone Strait]: Humpbacks and Sea Lions Here is the scene - sitting in the Lab, mist/fog/smog having never really lifted, a very grey day, a steady stream of sea lions swimming past the Lab. In short order, and as the growls of other sea lions already hauled out on the Parson Island Light rock roar over the water, you got the sense right away that the sea lions on this side understood it was time to get out of the water too. After a brief period of milling amongst the kelp they began to climb out. This is exactly what life will be like for the next several months, a pattern of hauling out, sleeping, growling, jockeying for the best spot, scratching, more growling and going back to the water when the tides or hunger dictate, only to start all over again after a few hours. Sometimes there will be a few, sometimes as many as 200, with the politics of position never failing to intrigue. Blackney Pass was pretty quiet for most of the day. There were not many boats and only two humpbacks, yet to be identified. We did hear humpbacks twice, both times in the morning, from 7:28am until just before 9am. Both incidents were in Blackfish Sound. Later in the day we learned from Scott (Prince of Whales Whale Watching) that he heard Inukshuk vocalising off Donegal Head in the afternoon. This is the second time Scott has managed to identify which humpback is vocalising. Meanwhile many seabirds were scattered, dotting the calm, somber waters. And of course, Uni (the seagull) was there too going about her business of picking up urchins and chasing any other birds who might dare to come too close. She pretty much owns these bays! Finally, a note about the A23s and A25s. This comes from Nick Templeman who left the orcas in Nodales Channel at 4pm after seeing them through Discovery Passage and back into Johnstone Strait. 典he A23s were in the lead at Davis Point and the A25s were behind at Brougham Point with Pacific White-sided dolphins. Megan. April and Paul headed to the three rubbing beaches, Kaizumi,Strider and Main, today to film and take stock of the ICListen hydrophone installations. They got back in the late afternoon with stories of the fascinating creatures and the unique landscapes they saw at the different sites. The growls of the sea lions secure on their rocks will close out the day.

OrcaLab
13 Sep 2020 22:21:04 PDT



September 12 2020: T060s (minus T60D & T060E), T002B, Humpbacks:Argonaut, PWD, 1 sea lion hauled out The humpback that was so incredibly vocal the previous evening just before 10pm carried on sporadically giving one last concerted effort just around midnight and again just before 1am. The rest of the night was uneventful. But morning brought a brief daytime surprise of a vocal humpback, once again in Blackfish Sound, from 7:32am to 7:38am. Then began the reports of the T060 group (same as yesterday)westbound east of the Ecological Reserve at 8:15am. By 11:14am there was chatter on the VHF radio of this group now off Big Bay, Hanson Island. They were still headed west. From there they continued 砥p the Strait towards the Pearse Island looking like they were bound for Alert Bay. Along the way they possibly dispatched a Pacific White-sided dolphin. The day before they had shown no interest in the numerous sea lions in the water. We heard no calls once again from this group. The day rolled on with a special visit from long time friend Patricia Sims. It had been 15 years since Patricia had been on Hanson Island! Her friend Sarah accompanied her. They stayed for lunch and through to the early evening when Megan ferried them back to Alert Bay. While they were here we again heard humpback calls in Blackfish Sound. Scott from Prince of Whales informed us that Argonaut was vocal. This is the second time we have heard Argonaut specifically. The first time was brief as was this. The calls lasted from 6:36pm to 6:44pm. It was interesting, especially, after there had just been a discussion late last night about how rare it is to get an ID of a vocal humpback because most such occurrences happen at night. Janie Wray of North Coast Cetacean Society, up north, had just written on FB (https://www.facebook.com/bcwhales/posts/2708325762770596) about how after many frustrating instances of listening to 都inging humpbacks she was able to identify a specific humpback who went on to vocalise for 20 minutes! Patience and opportunity seem to be key here. A lone sea lion hauled out on the local rocks late in the afternoon. No one joined him and he left after an hour or so. It was a very pleasant day. The weather seems to have taken a turn. Yesterday was all about relaxing (in between wood sawing and chopping, Lab shifts) in the sun. The heavy mists brought a lot of moisture and a slug to the garden. We hope that our luck with cool weather is extended to the situation in California, Oregon and Washington State. Our thoughts go out to everyone there. Pippa, Moss and Gloria left the island as scheduled this morning. There were many promises to return next year and we will hold them to that for sure.

OrcaLab
13 Sep 2020 08:44:35 PDT



A sea lion has hauled out on Sea Lion rock! Follow along with us here: https://www.explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
12 Sep 2020 18:04:30 PDT



September 11 2020 [A23, A25s eastern Johnstone Strait], T060s (minus T060 D & E) with addition of T060G (baby) and T002B, Humpback (vocal),Sea Lions hauled out on Hanson I For three plus hours (from approximately 12:35 to 3:30 am) we were treated to a very beautiful acoustic humpback experience. Not sure why the nighttime seems to stimulate the humpbacks into voice but so very often this is when they let go and fill the ocean with their sounds. The humpback we listened to probably started somewhere in Blackney Pass while moving toward Blackfish Sound. It was in Blackfish Sound and near the hydrophone that his voice was the most sustained. It never felt throughout this session that this humpback was 都inging, it was more like 都peak, each vocal clear, detached, separate and measured. No one here slept, everyone listened. Ironically, as I write there is a humpback (maybe the same one?), in Blackfish Sound, doing a repeat performance! (It is almost 10pm). Hopefully, this humpback will not be interrupted by boat noise too soon as what happened during the early morning痴 session. A repeated pattern of boat noise increasing starting from 3:13am subdued the humpback in Blackfish Sound into periodic silences until eventually by 3:48am he quit altogether. Then a rare daytime occurrence. For a short while, a humpback, again in Blackfish Sound, made sounds that lasted (off and on) from 10:02am to 10:39am. The activity amongst these humpbacks is definitely changing, giving us the sense that their social scene will become more important as the season progresses into late summer and fall. At 11:22am we received a report from Lance Barrett-Lennard that Bigg痴 orcas were eastbound in Blackfish Sound. This would be, as Marieke informed us, the T060s. They were without T060 D & E but had with them baby T060G and T002B. So 5 in all. They came into our view already opposite mid Compton Island at 11:27am. A long,deep dive confounded us. When they resurfaced they had turned north but almost in the same position. It was now 11:40am. Eight minutes later they turned south again and this time proceeded through the Pass toward Johnstone Strait. They passed, without apparent interest many sea lions in the water. These sea lions were not impressed but a group near the end of Hanson Island grouped tightly together, stretched their necks and looked all too aware of the passing orcas. It was just after Noon when the whales disappeared from our view. We learned later that this was when the A23s and A25s were near Rock Bay in eastern Johnstone Strait near Chatham Point. They would go into Nodales Channel from there, last reported near Sonora Point. The Bigg痴 orcas, meanwhile, from 12:22 to 1pm, travelled more or less east in the Strait while angling over toward Kaizumi Beach and then on to the Bight afterwards. They made no calls during their whole passage. At 2:35pm we noticed a small group of sea lions had hauled out on the Hanson Island shore. Last year, they began to haul out, this being one of their winter haul-outs, on September 9. What calendar do they go by? We have come to expect them to use these rocks along the shore to the south of the Lab for the next several months. At times their numbers may swell to 200+ if the past is any measure. They will now be featured on www.explore.org Sadly, today was Gloria痴 and Pippa痴 last full day. They will leave in the morning, head to Alert Bay and then go their own separate ways; Gloria to Montreal where she will spend the winter at the family cottage, and Pippa (and Moss the puppy) to a planned road trip tour of parts of British Columbia and then back to Nanaimo. It has been a pleasure to have them both here at the Lab, cheerful, helpful, competent and willing. We will miss them. We have heard from Quin who left yesterday that he has arrived safely in Port Renfrew where he is aboard his (and Suzie痴) new sailboat, the Orion. I think, while he bunks down, is listening to the humpback in Blackfish - the habit of listening to whales is apparently hard to break!

OrcaLab
11 Sep 2020 22:54:08 PDT



Superb sounds!!
とてもいい音!

Once again, beautiful humpback sounds in Blackfish Sound.

OrcaLab
11 Sep 2020 21:49:18 PDT