Victoria Whale Watching Report: The Week of April 18
May 6, 2022
Written by: Lori, Lead Naturalist
The Week of April 18th
It has been another wonderful week of whale watching tours, and we have once again found ourselves humbled by the diversity of life that resides in the Salish Sea. This week we were able to spot bald eagles, California sea lions, Steller Sea lions, harbour seals, Northern elephant seals, and Bigg’s Killer Whales among other animals.
Oftentimes when we leave the harbour we end up heading either East or West – but this week we found ourselves heading South to find a group of Bigg’s Killer Whales! They were confirmed as the T036’s and T036B’s! We were able to spot the whales T036, known as “flapjack”, as well as T036B “Tattertip”, and T036B2 “Greenfelder.” Our guests were delighted to see them surfacing in unison as they traveled South together.
With the beautiful backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, no trip in the Juan de Fuca Strait would be complete without a visit to Race Rocks Lighthouse. We were able to spot Harbour seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions, and even five Northern elephant seals! Northern elephant seals are the largest of the “true” or “earless” seals in the Northern hemisphere. Some males have been recorded weighing up to 8,000Ibs! They are true marine mammals, and spend nearly their entire lives in the water. They are remarkable divers, and some females have been recorded diving for up to an hour and a half.
While marine mammals are always a treat to see, we always make sure to make note of the incredible bird species we can find in our area. Perched on the highest points of Race Rocks, we were able to spot several juvenile bald eagles this week! It takes about four to five years before a juvenile bald eagle will acquire its adult plumage. Until then, we can identify them as juvenile by their mottled brown coloration and smaller size.
It has been an incredible week filled with a multitude of completely unique wildlife sightings. We can hardly wait until next week when we untie from the docks and experience the wild all over again!