August 5- Bigg’s and Baleen

© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — A Bigg’s orca of the T018 pod surfaces north of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve this evening.

Bigg’s Orcas and a Humpback Whale

We had an incredible day on our tours today! On both of our trips, we witnessed two equally amazing whale species.

In the morning, we went southwest into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While in the Strait, we encountered a Humpback Whale! These baleen whales feed on krill and small schooling fish. We were fortunate enough to see an example of this, in the form of a massive bait ball of schooling fish!

We headed east to search for more animals. At the Chain Islets off of Oak Bay, we came across a different species. We saw a family of Bigg’s (transient) orcas scouring the shoreline; they’re known as the T018’s. They feed on Harbour seals, Sea Lions and porpoise. They were likely searching the shore for possible prey.

In the evening,we went southwest into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. To our excitement, we saw Bigg’s orcas north of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve! They were the same individuals spotted in the morning (this is rare as these animals are always on the move for food).  At Race Rocks, we were lucky to see some Sea Lions and Harbour seals hauled out on the rocks.

In the evening, we were also extremely fortunate to witness a Humpback Whale. It was spotted off of William Head, southwest of Victoria, and fascinated all on board as it surfaced amidst the sunset and fog.

We had a very special day encountering two whale species on both of our tours, in addition to the other diversity of Salish Sea species.

To view more images from today’s trip, click on the links below:

August 5 Afternoon- Orcas at Oak Bay and a Humpback

August 5 Evening- Orcas and a Humpback out West

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