San Juan Island is always beautiful and is one of my favorite places. During my wildlife photography tour last month, we were provided with plenty of wildlife to photograph. Although the weather predicted was going to be wet, we did not let the rain deter us.
Prior to arriving on the island, high winds and a small craft advisory was predicted for our scheduled day of sailing. Luckily, we were able to adjust to a day earlier. All attendees caught an earlier ferry and once the rain let up, we set sail. The conditions were great, and the clouds eventually allowed some sunlight to break through to provide us with a fabulous rainbow.
Remember, no rain, no rainbows
We encountered many seabirds throughout the day including Heerman’s gulls, glaucous-winged gulls, marbled murrelets, and rhinoceros auklets. Mature bald eagles watched the water from their high perch on the conifers while harbor seals rested along the rocky shoreline. We were treated to a special encounter with 2 humpback whales who were later ID’d as BCY0458, “Raptor”, and MMX0007, “Bond”. They are likely on their way now to either Hawaii or Baja. Safe travels, my friends.
Many, many gulls
Humpback whale fluke, diving
The following day, the wind and rain did not keep us inside. We were dressed properly for whatever the elements wanted to throw at us, and we kept our cameras dry with a rain cover. Even though the majority of cameras are weather sealed, we were not taking any chances since we were going to be outside all day. Luckily for us the rain was light and sporadic.
Wooly bear caterpillar. To watch a short video of him, click here.
Our 3rd day started with a presentation on marine mammal acoustics at the Whale Museum. After some additional time to tour the museum, we met our presenter at Lime Kiln lighthouse. Here we were able to listen to the hydrophones that are installed along the coast to monitor when the Southern Resident Orcas and other marine mammals such as Humpback whales are nearby. We had a tour of the lighthouse which included the lantern room. While we did not spot any orcas that sunny afternoon, we had a spectacular view of Haro Strait.
Species list from our weekend
Golden crown sparrow
Great blue heron
Wooly bear caterpillar
I'm Diana and welcome to my Wild Places Blog. Here I'll share adventures of finding wildlife, new images, and talks about gear.