West Seattle whale watching: Humpback whale off Lincoln Park

February 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 10 Comments

(Click image for larger view)
Dennis Cheasebro shared that photo of what he believes was a humpback whale, spotted off West Seattle today:

Photographed at 1:34 PM, February 16, 2014, from the Lincoln Park bluff. It was breaching, tail flipping and swimming fast southward, close to shore. I’ve never seen a humpback before, but the small, dull-pointed dorsal fin on top of a low hump seems to be diagnostic.

8:05 PM: Our experience with humpbacks is limited to their distinctive flukes, through binoculars, in Alaska. We’ve looked around at various whale-sighting sites and no other reports of this today; the species-ID page on The Whale Trail‘s site seems to affirm Dennis’s ID. Any other confirmations/opinions/sightings?

9:04 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Kelly for pointing out, in comments, photos published to TWT’s Facebook page not long after we published this – so, humpback it is!

10 Comments

  1. No other pics taken or links to other species charts? The blow hole is visible but need better reference before I’d guess. Immature? Injured or mutation on the dorsal?

    I ain’t guessing without better pics.

    I will say tho’mI saw what was likely a minke south of Seacrest before Xmas.

    Comment by hmmm — 8:53 pm February 16, 2014 #

  2. There is confirmation of a humpback sighting on The Whale Trail’s FB page. How cool!
    https://www.facebook.com/TheWhaleTrail.org/posts/720667114620997

    Comment by Kelly — 9:00 pm February 16, 2014 #

  3. That’s been published since I checked there (it’s timestamped more than half an hour after I published this). Will add a link. Thanks. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:02 pm February 16, 2014 #

  4. What a *great* sighting, Dennis! Wow. Looks like I came in from my morning walk about an hour too soon.

    Comment by Trileigh — 9:02 pm February 16, 2014 #

  5. I have vids of much tale thumping from the shore. Too bad its from a phone. Want I should posta?

    Comment by johnmarken — 12:10 am February 17, 2014 #

  6. Hi – if you have uploaded it to YouTube or another publicly viewable service, just post the link here or send it to us at editor@westseattleblog.com and we’d be happy to add to the story – you can also e-mail the video to us at that address and we can upload it – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:45 am February 17, 2014 #

  7. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10203190546827147&l=7465653974596234594

    Here is a vid of the same sighting off my cell

    Comment by johnmarken — 1:45 pm February 17, 2014 #

  8. Thanks! I wish that was embeddable but hopefully folks can follow the link. It allowed me to view but not share. I believe the tail slapping has to do with herding potential food!

    Comment by WSB — 2:35 pm February 17, 2014 #

  9. I saw the samething about a week ago at Lincoln Park.

    Comment by Mad Max — 2:41 pm February 17, 2014 #

  10. Do we know how many? Are people seeing just a single?

    TR – looks to me like our HW was at the dropoff/shelf – where food/fish might be trapped against the shelf and then scooped into the baleen?

    I wish I had seen them/it, but a bit sad it is here…humpies are Pac Oc/Coast migrators. I hope it/they find(s) the way out of the Sound and back on to the Pacific Coast migration route.

    Comment by westseattledood — 6:13 pm February 17, 2014 #

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