I heard there were orcas in the channel so I headed over to the bridge and waited for them to pass by. It was snowing so my photos did not turn out as well as I would have liked them to. I was also standing on shore, so the orcas were either coming towards me or swimming away from me. It was difficult to get a good side photo of the saddle patch and dorsal fin. However, the T037s have been identified. These are transient (mammal eaters) orcas.
We were able to count five whales, including a very young calf. Three (including the calf) appeared to be socializing, as they were rolling around and spy hopping. We also saw a couple pec slaps. We thought the calf might have been nursing at one point. Also, we actually could hear them vocalizing very briefly. This was the first time we have heard orcas vocalizing. It was so neat! AG pod is a very large pod, and we only saw five individuals. I couldn't help but wonder where the rest were.
Recently I counted up the number of times I have seen orcas since moving to Southeast Alaska nearly six years ago. This was number 80! I hope there are many more to come.
I heard there were orcas in the Gastineau Channel so I raced over to the Juneau-Douglas Bridge. The pod ended up passing by as I was standing under the bridge.
I was pleasantly surprised to find AG pod (resident orcas) in Fritz Cove. I had heard there were orcas in the area and fully expected them to be transients. I watched them from shore as they passed False Outer Point and then drove to the westside of Douglas Island and was able to see them from there as well. It's always a pleasure to see this pod of lively orcas.
The whale activity in Fritz Cove has lessened, but I did spot FalseButterfly in the area along with several sea lions. It seems as though Flame has left the area. I wonder if she left for Hawaii or if she is still near Juneau?
The two whales briefly swam and dove together. The sea lions were once again feeding along side the whales.
As I was walking along the road, I found a small fish laying in the street. It was about the size of my middle finger. My best guess is that an eagle dropped it as it was flying across the road (I have seen eagles feeding in the same areas as the sea lions and whales). I cannot help but wonder if this is what the whales and sea lions have been feeding on. I am not sure, but I believe the little fish is a herring.
I have been spending a lot of time checking Fritz Cove for our two winter whales. I expect them to be gone every time I go there, but am always happy to see they are still in the area. I once again found Flame and False Butterfly feeding, along with many sea lions.
I did a quick check of Fritz Cove and found two humpbacks in the area. I was able to get a photo of SEAK-2136, False Butterfly.
I was headed to Fritz Cove when I heard that there were orcas in the area. I quickly got out there and immediately found them right next to shore just off from the road. They had a group of sea lions pinned against the shore, although I believe that is a defensive tactic for the sea lions; move into shallow water. We could see the bottom where the sea lions were. That is how close they were to shore and the orcas were just out from them. It was quite the sight. However, I made the mistake of getting out of my car and attempting to follow them along the road on foot. They were moving way too fast for me to keep up. By the time I made it back to my car and attempted to catch up with them, they were gone.
The orcas I photographed have been identified as the T064s. There was a larger group that passed by that I was unable to get photos of. Judging from a video I saw that a friend had taken, there were at least ten orcas in the area. I was able to get photos of three.
I did notice at least two humpbacks in the area; however, I did not get any photos of them.