Whale Tales – Zillian the Humpback, Birds and Sea Lions

By Captain Ken Rea

Today we set out to view the HUMPBACK WHALE known as Zillion. We were able to spend a little time with him before he crossed over into Canada. Then as I was scanning for MINKE WHALES we made our way to see the TUFTED PUFFINS. They are starting to lose their tufts already.

From there, I stopped off to get a couple of pics of a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, a tiny little guy with an interesting life. They breed in the Artic. The female  lays a clutch of eggs and the male incubates them while the female leaves to mate with another male for another clutch of eggs. The male stays with them until they hatch and then feeds them until they are able to fly on their own.

The feeding method of the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE is unique too. They like still water with seaweed or debris floating nearby where bugs tend to be found. They spin in a circle to creat a whirlpool and then sidestep out of the whirlpool and peck at bugs that got caught in the vortex.

The STELLER SEA LIONS were fun to watch today playing in the rapids caused by the tide rushing out over the rocks. A couple of BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS and a HARBOR SEAL finished off the tour on the beautiful day.

To learn more about Captain Ken, visit Spirit of Orca

Captain Ken Rea

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.


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