© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — Tail fluke of a young California Grey whale just southwest of Victoria today.
California Grey Whale
We had a fantastic encounter with a young Califonia grey whale today! We found this individual southwest of Victoria between Constance Bank and Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
Grey whales are baleen whales with quite an interesting feeding behaviour. They filter small crustaceans, including amphipods, from sandy bottoms. When feeding, grey whales tilt to one side of their bodies and scour the sandy bottoms using the baleen in their partially opened mouths. The side they tilt on depends on whether or not they prefer to use the left side of their mouths or right, which is akin to humans being left-handed or right-handed.
The young individual we saw today went for a couple of deeper dives during our encounter. This gave our guests a chance to the whale’s tail fluke, which is a rather rare occurrence.
After spending time with the whale, we headed further southwest towards the ecological reserve. There we got to show our guests some of the animals that call Salish Sea home. We saw harbour seals, California and Steller sea lions, and a bald eagle there. As we were going around a corner, our naturalist, Katie, also spotted an infrequent visitor — a Bonaparte’s Gull!
To view more images from our trip today, click on the following link.