Whale Watching

We’re not all about the bears, whales are abundant here too!

Killer whales and humpback whales are often seen during our wildlife tours. There are resident whales and transient whales that can be seen feeding and playing in our waters.

Herring Balls and Humpback Whales 2 of 2

HB lunge

Many herring balls form off Bold Head which is a land mass not far from Telegraph Cove a tourist destination on Vancouver Island north of Campbell River. The plan is to sit near a herring ball and wait until the gulls shoot into the air and be ready. The ideal photo is a humpback lunge feeding.

 

Herring Balls and Humpback Whales 1 of 2

Herring Ball

On your whale watching day most of the time is spent is the waters off the east shore of Vancouver Island.  This water is rich in wildlife and it is not uncommon to see seagulls congregating in one area, in fact, that is a good thing.  Whether you are sports fishing or looking for humpback whales you want to see flocks of gulls to have a “good” day. The herring in the waters along the shores of Vancouver Island are at the bottom of the food chain (just above plankton and krill).  You know you position in the food chain when your main defense is getting in a tight ball and revolving from inside to outside so you can breath. The many ducks and diving birds in the area force the herring into balls, which try to escape by moving up to the surface. This attracts gulls and attracts whale watchers.

 

Perspective 1 of 2

Taking pictures

As a guide I am always looking for different photos for the blog and this is one of them. A photo of a guest taking a photo of grizzly bears from the viewing stands. The lodge uses the stands on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River in the fall after August 24th. The grizzly bears come to the river because of the abundance of salmon that come to spawn in the  man made spawning channel. The bears often walk down the natural river by the stands and then move into a large pool where the salmon wait before moving into the spawning area. NO the bears are not that far away it just seems that because of my camera but who will really care after viewing tomorrow’s post.

 

 

Orca Behaviour Pt2

As mentioned yesterday the behaviour of the orca varies day to day and is highly advanced.  This whale is “spy hopping”.  What the whale is basically doing is having a look at what is happening above the water line.  Orca have advanced echolocation “sonar” abilities, which allows them to detect objects and animals underwater with pinpoint accuracy.  They also like to check out what is happing above them as this orca is demonstrating.

Orca Behaviour Pt1

Orca are highly intelligent and incredibly sociable animals.  There behaviour varies day to day.  They are often travelling, foraging and resting, but they do take time for play and socializing as well.  This whale is basically standing on his head and doing a little bit of “tail lobbing”.

Close Up Humpback Fluke

This is a very close up view of a Humpback Whale fluke (tail).  This particular whale is known as “Domino”.  You can identify the whale by the unique shape and colorations on the backside of the fluke.  Domino has been coming back to our area for several years and we look forward to seeing his return next spring.

Glassy Calm Whale Watching in Blackfish Sound

On the coast the weather can at times be unpredictable.  That being said in the summer and fall we are often very lucky with our weather and often do not get a lot of rain until October.  Our waters are protected from the open ocean, so although it can get a bit choppy at times we do not receive the big swells that trigger seasickness.  This is a beautiful evening in October (after the end of the season) watching a number of resident Orca move through Blackfish Sound, into Johnstone Strait.

Dolphins at a Distance

dolphins in Knight Inlet BC

When first noticing the white water created by a pod of pacific white-sided dolphins guest have a hard time wondering why we are changing directions suddenly. As we approach closer as in the above photo the cameras suddenly become very active. As with killer whales the “Whale Watching Guidelines” request that we do not approach closer than 100 meters (yards) but the dolphins seem to have their own ideas as will be shown in tomorrows post….

Black Bear Floating High

black bears swim between islands

If this was a picture from the spring there would not be much more than the bear’s head out of the water. As the season progresses and the bears put on more fat more of their back appears. Our viewing area is comprised of many islands so it is not unusual to find bears moving between islands.

Humpback Scenic or Close up? 2 of 2

photos on safari

This humpback is close when you consider that in the corner of the photo is a guest’s tablet. This post has the excitement of a whale close to the boat but yesterday’s post is hard to beat. As a guide the plan is to make sure you get both.