Over the past seven years our whale watching area has become a feeding area for humpback whales. In the past we were lucky it see one whale on a viewing day while now if we do not see to eight or ten different whales we think it is a slow day. The feeding aspect means there is also lunge feeding, much diving with good tail shows as well as breaching that is very hard to catch on camera.
Early June, so less than six months old and we find two black bear cubs while on the trip up Knight Inlet to view grizzly bears. Although we go on a specialized black bear trip on your first evening in the lodge we frequently see black bears while on the grizzly bear and whales watching tours as well as the trip to Trapper Rick’s.
Bald eagles are only achieve their white headed between three and five years and prior to that they are able to sit in trees unnoticed. When soaring high an immature eagle is a little more noticeable. Still majestic with their wing span but something is missing.
One of my best and again luck dominates skill. I knew the orca was going to pass beneath the boat but did not know that its calf would be traveling in mother’s slip stream. The baby swims close to its mother and can be carried in the a type of hydrodynamic wake, which develops as the mother swims. This helps the baby swim with less energy and enables the mother and calf to keep up with the pod.
Humpback whales migrate to tropical or subtropical water in the winter to breed and give birth in February and March. By the time the whales return to our viewing areas the calf’s are close to four months old and still on their mother’s milk. This calf is a larger and therefore in it’s second year. These calves are normally very active frequently seen breaching and lobbtailing.
Seeing a bald eagle swim is not a common sight on our wildlife tours maybe once or twice a summer. But this morning we saw three take a salmon to shore. An eagle will catch a fish in their talon that is too heavy for them to carry and they will swim to shore with it so they can eat it. They use a butterfly like swim stroke. In the first photo it is almost to the shore and the second show the eagle lifting the fish further up the shore. In this case its mate came down and took the salmon, as it was to exhausted to fight. The happy ending was that it did get to share the fish once it recovered.
Beautiful morning, with a boat fishing on Johnstone Strait. This area is frequented by the Northern Resident Killer whales in the summer, who are after the same thing as this fisherman (salmon). On a day like this its hard to beat it.
This Humpback Whale has just come up from under a school of baitfish and hopefully got a mouthful of fish. The photo captures the moment that the whale has closed his mouth and forced a burst of water out through his baleen.
We always keep our eyes open for Black Bears cruising the beaches at low tide. Sometimes it also pays to look up. Black Bears are much sleeker then Grizzlies and have short claws, which makes them excellent climbers. In the late summer there are often salal berries growing on the rocky outcroppings, which the bears enjoy.