West Seattle whale watching: Orcas seen from our shores

(Added 2:36 pm, photos by Gary Jones @ Alki Point)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:05 AM: Once again this morning, heads-up that orcas might be passing our shores soon. They didn’t make it this far south on Monday but they apparently did some traveling overnight, because Orca Network commenters (thanks again to Trileigh for the tip) are seeing them off Burien’s Three Tree Point – northbound this time – as of just before 10 am.

10:57 AM: Per Jen‘s comment, and also what we’re seeing from Orca Network commenters, they’re still headed northbound along Vashon; Jen notes that they are closer to the Vashon side, so if you’re looking from here, you’ll most likely need binoculars.

NOON: They are visible off north Vashon! We are now with Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail at Constellation Park.

12:30 PM: One group is past north Blake Island now; another one is off north Vashon. Still visible with binoculars. Donna says they’ve been confirmed as Southern Resident Killer Whales (the ones seen in the area earlier in the year were “transients” – one big difference is that SRKWs eat salmon, transients also eat marine mammals).

12:48 PM: We’ve left Constellation Park but Donna just called to say researcher Mark Sears, who is out with the whales, reports that one group is “headed right for Alki.”

11 Replies to "West Seattle whale watching: Orcas seen from our shores"

  • Jen November 3, 2015 (10:56 am)

    Finally spotted them at 10:55. They are northbound, still south of the Vashon ferry run. Big group. Much closer to the Vashon side of the sound.

    • WSB November 3, 2015 (10:57 am)

      Thanks! So, from this side, binoculars are in order.

  • Jen November 3, 2015 (11:16 am)

    Yes. It looks like Mark Sears is headed out to meet up with the whales, so if you can spot his boat with the flag, you’ll see the whales.

    • WSB November 3, 2015 (11:22 am)

      Great! We have a sliver view of the eastern Vashon shore, south of the ferry dock, from here and I see two fishing boats but haven’t seen the whales (they’re probably surfacing every time I sit back down to keep working on a story) …

  • Trileigh November 3, 2015 (11:57 am)

    Wow!! LOTS of whales! Heading north along Blake isl, lots of blows!

  • Gary Jones November 3, 2015 (11:58 am)

    Orca pod now passing Vashon ferry route heading north fairly quickly.

    • WSB November 3, 2015 (11:59 am)

      We see them too, from Constellation Park!

  • dennis hinton November 3, 2015 (12:07 pm)

    Just spotted the orcas on the north end of Blake Island.
    i think they are being followed by official whale researcher,
    Mark Sears. Noon

    • WSB November 3, 2015 (12:35 pm)

      That’s what Donna said. Definitely a research boat – also fishing boats out there.

  • John November 3, 2015 (1:14 pm)

    Spotted 10 minutes ago off Bainbridge near the ferry terminal.

  • Trileigh November 3, 2015 (7:39 pm)

    Yay, you got to see them, WSB!! So happy for you!

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