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UAV Encounter #4- April 5, 2024
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ObservBegin:02:15 PM

ObservEnd:03:47 PM

Vessel:KCB III

UAV ID:Skagit

Pilot:Michael Weiss

Operators:Michael Weiss

Other Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers:Sara Hysong-Shimazu

Pods:Bigg's killer whales

Start Latitude:48 34.78

Start Longitude:122 52.14

End Latitude:48 38.17

End Longitude:122 52.84



After our encounter with T19 and T19B in Spieden Channel (Encounter 30-1), Michael and Dave headed down SJ Channel to Friday Harbor where we picked up Sara Hysong-Shimazu and then headed towards where the T124As were last reported. Outside of Friday Harbor, T87-who had previously split from the T124As, was apparently in the area and he was briefly seen from a distance but we did not encounter him. The T124As had headed up Upright Channel and were just outside the mouth of East Sound on Orcas Island when we arrived on scene at about 1415.

The T124As were milling and feeding in the area with quite a large spread initially. We got the drone up over some of them as they fed bits of harbor seal. All of the T124As came back together near Twin Rocks but continued feeding and milling as they made their way slowly up East Sound in a loose group. There was a lot of rolling and tail waves going on with the younger animals. The young calf that had been traveling with T124A1 on our last encounter with the T124As was now traveling exclusively with T124A4. The T124As back-tracked south briefly on a couple of occasions but generally the group kept slowly heading north up East Sound. We left them off Dolphin Bay at 1547. The T124A part of the day was mostly a drone encounter but Sara and Dave got what ID shots they could.

Photos taken under Federal Permits


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