Victoria Whale Watching Report: “Big Mama” The Humpback Whale, Sea Lions & A Bald Eagle!
October 17, 2019
On this morning’s whale watching adventure, we decided to head south and west of the Victoria Harbour to start our search for whales and other marine wildlife. We stopped to check out a giant bait ball where hundreds and hundreds of birds were gathered at the surface, picking off small fish from below.
Sometimes we spot whales and other marine mammals foraging on bait balls too. After several minutes with no sightings, we moved on and quickly spotted the misty exhales of humpbacks!
After looking at the pictures we captured of one of the humpbacks, we know we were watching a famous female in our waters named Big Mama. She has strange bumps all over her body, which we are not sure why. Big Mama has been coming back to our area for years each feeding season. She consistently has a calf with her every second year.
Humpbacks often reproduce every two years, mating and calving in the warm waters of Mexico, Hawaii, or Costa Rica. We loved watching Big Mama dive down, flick her tail in the air, then return to the surface with a giant exhale.
We ended up spotting about 10-12 humpbacks in total in the area! It was a whale of a morning!
We then traveled to Race Rocks Lighthouse where we were greeted by California and Steller Sea Lions. There are hundreds of sea lions at Race Rocks for 10 months of the year.
They are fun to watch and listen to as they bark, growl, and roar. Sometimes they get in spats for the best space to rest, while other times they curl up on top of each other.
The Harbour Seals also take up space on the islands, but at just 200 pounds, they can fit on the smaller islands. We had another rare sighting for this time of year- a Bald Eagle! Many spend more time near the rivers in the fall, but a few have returned to the sea where we are happy to see them! It was a great morning on the Salish Sea with wildlife of the land, sea, and sky!