UAV Encounter #1 - May 1, 2022
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UAV Enc#: 01
ObservBegin: 03:28 PM
ObservEnd: 05:59 PM
UAV ID: Columbia
Pilot: Michael Weiss
Operators: Michael Weiss
Other Observers: Darren Croft
LocationDescr: Rosario Strait
Start Latitude: 48 25.059
Start Longitude: 123.49.524
End Latitude: 48 30.519
End Longitude: 122 40.308
Michael and Darren left the dock at 14:25 on a report of a group of killer whales south of Lopez Island. They arrived on scene at 15:24 at the south end of Rosario Strait and began observation with the UAV. The T65Bs and T75Bs were processing a fresh porpoise kill, and engaging in a ton of socializing.
After a while, the whales took off headed northeast, breaking into two subgroups. The leading group was made up of the two mothers and T65B1, while the trailers were the younger whales.
The whales regrouped and slowed down as they approached Guemes Channel. They started working the shoreline, and made two seal kills in quick succession, doing a lot of sharing (including between matrilines) and socializing after each kill. We also observed T75B4 nursing, as well as at least investigating solid food.
After 5 research flights, the team ended the encounter at 17:59 for the long trip back to the dock.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388