Friday, February 22, 2008

Hearing The Gray Whales Coming

Might have to go out to First Beach at La Push tomorrow, to scope out where I will watch for migrating Gray Whales. There are not likely to be any up here yet, but how can I be sure if I don't start checking? And Orca Network's email said "It's about time for the Grays to show up in Island County, so keep your eyes peeled for those blows & flukes!" Well duh, they can't get to Island County without cruising past First Beach, peeling off from the northbound crowd to turn the corner at Cape Flattery, and heading on in through the Strait.

This paragraph amended after doing some reading. Still, though 'everyone knows' the northbound grays spend time at First Beach, feeding or perhaps more likely rubbing, the websites don't seem to agree when. Different websites say February-April, or March, or March-May, or just 'spring'. Assuming it's March or so, then it is the newly pregnant females, the males, and the juveniles; and not the mothers with calves who come along weeks later.

Report from Santa Barbara Channel (.) From the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Journey North's map. Orcanetwork's tutorial.

The state of Oregon apparently thinks the week of March 22-29 will be the peak of the migration in their area. (So, a couple of weeks later here?) The Oregon daily count site says, "They will start to return north about the first of March, starting to pass Oregon about the last week of March. The first whales heading north have been spotted coming out of Mexico - 2/14/08."

Technical papers: several from Cascadia Research. And "Winter Observations of Cetaceans off the Northern Washington Coast".

There will just be spouts, you know. At best, distant splooshing and little bits of cetacean backs. Still, I'll be standing with my feet on the ground, seeing them. In March or April or May. Or tomorrow.

1 comment:

samcandide said...

Did anyone come to your library event after all? I have never seen a whale in the ocean, although they have filled my dreams.