So many opportunities to observe the diverse wildlife of the San Juan Islands today! From Friday Harbor we traveled east, and then cut between San Juan Island and Lopez Island. Several harbor seals were hauled out on rocks, swimming, and foraging for fish! Gulls swooped in and rhinoceros auklets popped up in the feeding frenzy. As we travelled through Cattle Pass, we encountered a surprising visitor. A stellar sea lion was hauled out on Whale Rock! Typically, stellar sea lions are much further north in British Columbia and Alaska at this time of year. A unique sight to see! We headed west and observed members of J-pod, particularly two males, J-27 “Blackberry” and J-39 “Mako”. These two were foraging and feeding near False Bay (48°28.679N, 123°06.621W). We also spotted a minke whale south of where the orcas were foraging. The minke had a few slow surfaces and then went for a deep dive. Upon our return, we spotted a mature bald eagle just south of Griffin Bay. It looked like it was on patrol or preparing to find dinner. It was a wonderful trip and we were grateful for the warm sunshine in addition to the fascinating wildlife.
SJS Naturalist Jenny