By Captain Ken Rea
A beautiful day to see HORNED PUFFINS, BROWN PELICANS and HUMPBACK WHALES today during one whale watching and two birding tours. We saw so many species today including BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS, RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, PACIFIC MURRES, PIGEON GUILLEMOTS, GLAUCOUS GULL CHICKS, TUFTED PUFFIN, a rare HORNED PUFFIN and for us, a rare BROWN PELICAN.
For the middle whale tour, we saw a pair of HUMPBACKS for a while and heard a pod of ORCA was preparing to cross over into USA waters. We headed that way only to learn they took a right-hand turn and stayed deep into Canadian waters. Until the politicians quit making this a political game, we are not allowed into Canadian waters. All the years we have been doing this, I have
never heard of an instance where one of our vessels has had to touch foreign soil. So, the fear that we will spread a virus when we are miles at sea is absurd.
I stopped by to check on my little OYSTERCATCHER chick and it is doing well. A few weeks ago, a PEREGRINE FALCON got one of the chicks so now there is only the one, but it is doing fine.
While with the PUFFINS, I observed a pair tapping their beaks against each other. It seemed to be an act of affection. One was larger than the other, so I am assuming they were a mated pair. A couple weeks ago I witnessed a mating ritual and the male mounting the female afterward.
It was amazing to see the HORNED PUFFIN again and all the other beautiful birds of the Salish Sea.
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