Male Southern Resident Killer Whale
Male Southern Resident Killer Whale
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle perched on a marine marker at Haystacks Islets

November 26 2016 – Circling out to the West Shore of Victoria a lone Sea Lion popped up close to us on our route to the Haystack Islets, no doubt in search of food. Nearing the shallows, we could see numerous Harbour Seals relaxing on the rocky outcrops – this is one of their favourite haul outs in the local area.  Their heads turned to lazily watch us pass by; distinctive whiskered noses and inquisitive doe-like eyes following our journey west.  An imposing Bald Eagle sat atop one of the lagoon’s marine markers, its white head and tail feathers such a striking contrast to its hooked yellow beak.  Throughout the year this area is a birder’s paradise – over 160 species have been recorded here. We skirted Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and with rain upon us we set off to Constance Bank in Haro Strait. Despite the wet West Coast weather we were delighted to come across the Southern Resident Killer Whales of J and K pod. They were widely spread over the area, searching for food in small groups.  Identified by their category number the 80 Orcas of this endangered population are also known by name.  The first large male we saw was J27, also known as Blackberry.  Soon, 2 more large males were spotted and we had such a surprise.  It is rare to see these large male Killer Whales playing with each other.  With kelp draped over their magnificent tall dorsal fins, they were chasing and rolling amongst the waves!   As the light was fading and the rain increasing we headed for home with a special sighting to remember.

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