Whale Tales – Puffins, Seals and Black Oystercatchers

By Captain Ken Rea

Today was T65A and Tufted Puffins plus Bald Eagles, Black Oystercatchers and juvenile Harlequin Ducks. I headed north knowing we had some heavy seas to the south in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We stopped off to see the black Oystercatcher chick that I had been observing. It is looking more like its parents with actual feathers instead of fuzz and its beak is starting to match the color of mom and dad as well.

We scanned a good bit of territory finding Harbor Seals and Bald Eagles but no Orca or Humpback whales. Then one of the bigger boats found the Bigg’s pod T65As.

We slowly made our way down there in the heavier seas and arrived just as they made a sea kill. They continued to hunt for a while, and we left them doing the same. In a couple of the pics, you can see them skimming the shoreline and all the seals attention is riveted to keep track of where the Orca are.

Then I made my way around the other side of the island and found about a dozen Tufted Puffins grooming and bathing in the rough water.

It was a bit rough but definitely worth the extra time to get down to them.

Ken Rea, owner and operator of the Spirit of Orca, is also the tour guide, photographer and naturalist on his Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours in the Salish Sea, San Juan Island, Washington.

Photos by Ken Rea

To learn more about Captain Ken, visit https://spiritoforca.com


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