West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas visit again!

(1st two photos by Gary Jones, added @ noon)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:53 AM: Thanks to Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales for the alert that orcas have been spotted off Magnolia, headed southbound. Let us know if you see them – murky out there today but then again, black fins against silver water might be more visible. (Just last week, orcas in West Seattle waters led to beautiful photos – both from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams, here, and from community contributors, here.)

10:46 AM UPDATE: They are reportedly visible now from North Admiral’s NW-looking blufftops.

11:21 AM UPDATE: Now reported to be passing Alki Point. Jeff says they are residents, J-pod.

NOON UPDATE: First two photos added, courtesy of Gary Jones (thank you!), taken near Alki Point. As commenters are saying, they’ve been spotted off Blake Island – we were just down at Lowman Beach and saw two TV choppers overhead, though not the whales (we did see them from the earlier Admiral blufftop stop).

(Photo by Mike Russell)
12:38 PM UPDATE: Still getting scattered sighting reports. Will be linking this story shortly from the BIG STORIES list on the sidebar so you can find it again even as we start adding other stories to the top of the site.

1:26 PM UPDATE: They were seen on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run around 1 pm.

27 Replies to "West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas visit again!"

  • Trileigh October 19, 2012 (10:09 am)

    C’mon orcas! Last time they were here I had to be inside, so I’m really hoping they’ll make it back down here today…

  • BLS October 19, 2012 (10:49 am)

    Orcas just South of BI ferry crossing 10 mins. ago.

  • girlonahandcycle October 19, 2012 (11:05 am)

    at least 3 between Alki point and south Bainbridge at the moment

  • nancy October 19, 2012 (11:15 am)

    Saw them with binoculars. They are Moving fast. At mee kwa moons now, they are closer to Bainbridge behind Blake.

  • Michelle R-R October 19, 2012 (11:15 am)

    They are at lighthouse!

  • girlonahandcycle October 19, 2012 (11:16 am)

    7 spotted mid channel still heading south just at the bottom of Bainbridge

  • Michelle R-R October 19, 2012 (11:19 am)

    Moving south, following big barge..

  • Gary Jones October 19, 2012 (11:19 am)

    Several just passed by due west of Alki Point, heading south, much more quickly than the last pass by last week.

  • sam-c October 19, 2012 (11:21 am)

    got a call from the family- they’re watching them from constellation park. thanks for the heads up!!

  • Trileigh October 19, 2012 (11:28 am)

    Are they still heading south? Will go out and look…

  • JimClark October 19, 2012 (11:28 am)

    Of course this would happen on a day I could go down but my 100-400 lens in in for repair at Canon
    Oh me oh my

  • girlonahandcycle October 19, 2012 (11:31 am)

    midway down Blake Island still heading south 2/3 way between Beach Drive and Blake

  • Trileigh October 19, 2012 (11:55 am)

    I’m at Mee Kwa Mooks-they’re on the other side of the channel, heading south, passing the middle of Blake Island.

  • Trevor October 19, 2012 (12:54 pm)

    I hope one of these days the Orcas will visit West Seattle while I’m home and not at work in Ballard…

  • Trileigh October 19, 2012 (1:15 pm)

    From Lincoln Park, I see lots on the east side of north end of Vashon, milling around but generally heading south.

  • Jen October 19, 2012 (1:24 pm)

    They are just south of the Vashon ferry dock, close to vashon. Still heading south.

  • Mark Day October 19, 2012 (1:47 pm)

    just spotted 6 just south of the Vashon side of the F. Ferry heading south – circling a bit – just west of the channel

  • Trileigh October 19, 2012 (1:50 pm)

    Gary, I’m so jealous of your gorgeous photo! What lens and camera were you using?

  • Gary Jones October 19, 2012 (2:07 pm)

    Hey Trileigh

    I have a Sony alpha 55 SLT with a Tamron 200-500mm zoom telephoto.

    My hope is to get enough experience to equal your beautiful pics that are highlighted on a regular basis in the WSB.

  • Donna, The Whale Trail October 19, 2012 (2:12 pm)

    Great to see so many people brave the wind to get a look at the whales between the whitecaps! We think it is J-pod – one of 3 southern resident pods. Keep watching – they could easily change direction and head north again…

  • Rachel October 19, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    So jealous, I’m much farther north. Thanks for all the updates, if someone can inform me when they turn north again, that’d be awesome. I plan on going to try and see them on their way back out.

  • NFiorentini October 19, 2012 (3:35 pm)

    Try doing this in TX. Ha! Merely reason #12 that WA > any other state in the union!

  • MikeRussellFoto October 19, 2012 (3:53 pm)

    Donna, was nice to meet you and thanks for letting me borrow some binoculars! I just added another photo to my FB page of the small crowd that was gathered at Constellation Park earlier today. (https://www.facebook.com/mikerussellfoto)

  • Donna, The Whale Trail October 19, 2012 (7:26 pm)

    Thanks, Mike! Some exciting updates – the whales continued south past Point Robinson, and there are a lot more whales out there then we thought! J and K pod and maybe Ls too. Hope they stick around!

  • Leslie October 19, 2012 (8:49 pm)

    Oh MAN….I am new to Seatle and was driving just off Beach at the same time they were moving by! Do they stay in the area or do they keep going? So jealous of all you lucky ducks who saw ’em.

  • Trileigh October 20, 2012 (4:09 am)

    Gary, thanks for the info and for your kind words! I guess that Tamron’s going on my wish list.
    We’re all so lucky to have great WS neighbors, both human and cetacean.

  • Donna, The Whale Trail October 20, 2012 (9:41 am)

    Hi Leslie – a typical travel pattern would have them going to the south end of Vashon, and then traveling back north. It takes about 12 hours for them to get from one end of the central Sound (Pt Defiance) to the other (Port Townsend). But sometimes they linger, and even change direction. We’ve heard they are near Bainbridge now, heading north…

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