PHOTOS: Orcas visible from West Seattle

(Added: This photo & next by Rick Rasmussen)

11:59 AM: Up for Friday whale-watching? Transient orcas are southbound, north of Alki but visible from there, reports Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch. Let us know if you see them!

2:41 PM: Thanks to Brandy for emailing to say they’re now in view off Lincoln Park’s south shore, lingering.

3:56 PM: Added, two photos above by Rick Rasmussen. Also see Kersti’s images in the comment section.

ADDED 10:57 PM: Trileigh Tucker has sent photos too – here are three:

(Thanks again to everyone who has shared photos and tips!)

19 Replies to "PHOTOS: Orcas visible from West Seattle"

  • Cindi April 30, 2021 (2:23 pm)

    They are down in front of the ferry dock now, the southworth ferry just had to take a wide detour. They’re really frolicking today.

    • Edward Groh April 30, 2021 (4:50 pm)

      This is so beautiful!  I just finished a sculpture of Tillicum Monday and was speaking to my professor about the slavery of the Orca.  There peaceful nature in the wild is that there they have never killed human beings.  It isn’t their nature.  There at Lincoln Park, named after the president who ended slavery you are watching the free Orcas, as God created them to be.  They are free from the bondage slavery of Sea World and others.  As I looked at the map I also see Tillicum Village and Cultural Center.  One day soon when Lolita and others are greed our human kind. will see the Orcas Heavenly Nature was for us to ride their saddle in the ‘Sounds’ of Heaven and then we will all be free from the forbidden slavery of the heavenly sea.

      • Stefanie J King April 30, 2021 (7:22 pm)

        How beautiful you are a lovely spirit 

      • Narandas Kamath May 1, 2021 (6:04 am)

        Waxing philosophical, but just having to bring politics into it. Geesh, can we ever just leave politics out of it? Also “they’re, not ” there”, just a pet peeve with that.

  • Yma April 30, 2021 (3:20 pm)

    They were awesome! Came in close enough off South Lincoln Park beach that you could hear them exhale.

  • Kersti Muul April 30, 2021 (3:40 pm)

    I pity those that missed the show at lincoln. Just yards off shore

    • Shane Lynch May 1, 2021 (9:31 pm)

      Amazing shots Kersti! The first shot with the woman in the pink jacket holding the kid are my wife and child. Any chance I can get a copy of the original photo from you? If so, please contact me at

      Thank you

  • Kersti Muul April 30, 2021 (3:42 pm)

    • MikeRussellFoto April 30, 2021 (4:24 pm)

      Wooo! Nice shots! Jealous and bummed I could not get away from work.

    • Soren April 30, 2021 (8:38 pm)

      These are amazing shots. Thank you for posting. We watched from shore for about an hour. They had no interest in sea lion, and actually seemed to coexist with it. Must be residents. Truly an amazing thing to witness. Such majestic, beautiful, intelligent and playful creatures. My very pregnant wife and I could not have been more inspired by such lovely and affectionate parenting. Letting their babies play and find their bliss. Orcas are truly special.

      • Kersti Muul April 30, 2021 (10:12 pm)

        These were not residents. Two matrilines of transient orcas hunting a California sea lion. The sea lion did mange to escape

        • Soren May 1, 2021 (9:52 am)

          Do you know this based on the actual orcas and their markings? We thought they were hunting the sea lion at first, but it seemed go be swimming with them for a long while. Iā€™m not familiar with their hunting behaviors, but they seemed decidedly gentle toward the sea lion. Were the attempting to let the juveniles get the kill? We watched from the shore with binoculars for almost an hour

          • Kersti Muul May 2, 2021 (8:17 pm)

            I know based on morphology, behaviors, where they are in the sound, saddle patch markings, how FAT they are, time of year present…and many other factors. It’s simple for me to suss them out immediately, but I know what I’m looking for and have years of experience photographing them and studying them and their patterns.Wild animals do not decide to be ‘decidedly gentle’ with a potential prey item, nor do the calves take charge. Several factors went into the failure of this hunt. One being the extreme low tide. The sealion managed to get shallow enough to where the orcas would have beached themselves. The sealion wanted to haul out but unfortunately onlookers kept that from happening. I knew the hunt was unsuccessful based on the time spent there, the lack of detain types of slamming behavior and no oil slick or blood or seagulls. They also left too quickly.

  • Flan April 30, 2021 (4:16 pm)

    Was right there to see the whole action front and center! They actually got so close to the shore hunting down a Seal. Lucky for the Seal and sorry for the Orcas the Seal got away. 

  • Kersti Muul April 30, 2021 (10:13 pm)

    Stan giving a nice tail slap to the audience lining Lincoln Park shore

  • Sunflower May 1, 2021 (8:03 am)

    Always appreciate orca posts and photos, thank you WSB and Kersti! Love the sassy tail slap above.

    Keep on swimming beauties, we love you and are trying to help šŸ’›

  • Jennie May 1, 2021 (11:46 am)

    Does anyone send out orca alert texts or emails when they are spotted around here?

    • Kersti Muul May 2, 2021 (8:09 pm)

      I do

      • SC May 3, 2021 (10:40 am)

        How can we get added to the alerts?

Sorry, comment time is over.