It is one of the first signs of spring in Puget Sound…the return of the gray whales to our waterways. Whidbey Island’s first gray whale sighting of 2011 is now on record on the 3rd of March, courtesy of the Orca Network based out of Greenbank, WA, here on Whidbey Island. The first sighting of a gray whale, believed to be #53, was while it was feeding in Saratoga Passage between Camano Island and Whidbey Island. Meanwhile, the Orca whales have been very active for several weeks around Whidbey Island, particularly around the south end of the island, but this was our first gray whale sighting.
Unfortunately, we also received some bad news last week: one of the oldest visitors to our waterways is missing this year. Ruffles, the patriarch of the Orca “J” pod, seems to be missing this year, and is presumed to have passed away.
You can follow along with the latest sightings of whales in Whidbey waters at the Orca Network sightings web page.
The Orca Network will also be hosting the annual “Welcome the Whales” celebration in Langley on April 23,2011.