5:13 PM: The Southern Resident Killer Whales’ first local appearance of (almost) fall could be happening shortly! Members of J-Pod have been heading south in Puget Sound all day, and Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail just called to say that if they continue southbound, they should be in view from West Seattle around 5:30 pm or so. Thanks also to Kersti Muul for updates on their southward journey. Both have mentioned that West Seattle researcher Mark Sears headed out to see them earlier today; Donna says Mark has seen J56, the 2-year-old whale reported to be ailing, and his early word was that she looked OK – that’s of course pending a closer assessment of her condition. Anyway, assuming the orcas keep heading this way, let us know if you see them!
5:23 PM: Don’t rush down to the shore – update from Donna, they’re milling off West Point, on the north edge of Elliott Bay.
6:38 PM: We are at the west end of the Alki promenade and are seeing one in the distance to the NW.
7:04 PM: Still seeing a few blows in that same general area.