West Seattle whale watching: Humpback whale off Lincoln Park

(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 Replies to "West Seattle whale watching: Humpback whale off Lincoln Park"

  • hmmm February 16, 2014 (8:53 pm)

    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.

  • Kelly February 16, 2014 (9:00 pm)

    There is confirmation of a humpback sighting on The Whale Trail’s FB page. How cool!

    • WSB February 16, 2014 (9:02 pm)

      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

  • Trileigh February 16, 2014 (9:02 pm)

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

  • johnmarken February 17, 2014 (12:10 am)

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

    • WSB February 17, 2014 (12:45 am)

      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

  • johnmarken February 17, 2014 (1:45 pm)


    Here is a vid of the same sighting off my cell

    • WSB February 17, 2014 (2:35 pm)

      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!

  • Mad Max February 17, 2014 (2:41 pm)

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

  • westseattledood February 17, 2014 (6:13 pm)

    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.

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