April 13, 2011
We had the (Transient orcas) T-137's, the T-65's, T-20, T-21, T36B's and others I can't remember. The boat left the dock a few hours after sighting the whales this morning, thinking we would probably wind up doing a wildlife tour because the whales were moving fast out of our range, which is what we told our guests, but sure enough Cameron and Natalie found some transients off Waldron (Island, San Juan Islands). To all of you on the north shore of Orcas, keep an eye peeled.
Deer Harbor Chaters, Orcas Island, WA

April 13, 2011
After receiving a report of Transients in San Juan Channel, Center for Whale Research staff Dave Ellifrit and Erin Heydenreich departed on vessel Starlet from Snug Harbor. The encounter began at 9:56 am mid San Juan Channel (48° 34.95 N; 123° 02.07 W) with the T137's,T49B's and T49A's traveling in a loose group. We later encountered the T65A's and T36A's traveling up San Juan Channel. We also encountered the T75B's and T75C which have not been previously encountered by the Center. The encounter ended in Boundary Pass off John's Island (48° 40.81 N; 123° 08.73 W) at 11:26 am. The whales spread out and were heading toward Saturna Island, B.C. In all we had 20 transients: T20, T21, T36A,T36A1,T49A,T49A1,T49A3,T49B,T49B1,T49B2,T75B,T75B1,T75C,T65A,T65A2,T65A3,T65A4,T137,T137A, And T137B.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island, WA

April 15, 2011
Graeme Ellis of Canada's Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans called in a report of his encounter with the large group of Transients in Sansum Narrows and Ladysmith Harbor, B.C. from April 15th. They had a total of about 31 orcas total, IDs include the T100s, T36s, T20 & T21, T124s, T65As T90s, T99s, T137s, T87s and T37s. They found them in Swanson Channel after we got the call from Tamar Griggs, then followed them down as they went into and back out of Ladysmith Island, and left them around 7 pm up by Yellow Pt.

19 April 2011,
4-19-11 on the Western Prince at about 1:30 pm we encountered many transient orcas attacking a Steller sea lion just south of Patos Island lighthouse. T36 and a couple juveniles were off, while others were in the fray just a few hundred yards to west.
The whales identified were members of the T36s, T99s, T65As, and T123s. The largest male, among all of these whales, was a sprouter T123A. It appeared to be a training session with groups taking turns attacking the sea lion. When we left the scene the Steller sea lion was still alive. About two miles away and approaching the general area of the whales and the sea lion, were more whales. Identified in this group were T101, T101A, T101B and T102.

April 30, 2011
April 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm, on Maya's Westside Charters, we met up with several transient orcas north of the Coal Docks, heading northwest. Shortly into the encounter they slowed down, split and each group attacked prey. The group we watched attacked a harbor seal. Both groups seemed to move off at the same time, continuing to move northwest at a good speed. I identified T75B, T75B1, T75C, T36As, T65As and the T137s. I'll post pics on my blog.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island

April 30, 2011
Finally found some Transients yesterday (April 30). They seemed to disappear for a few days but we found a group of about 15 yesterday including T37's, T65A and calves and T137A. They were in the middle of the Strait of Georgia and were heading for the coal docks. Here's a couple pics, one of the whales by the ferry terminal and another just past it. Cheers,
Gary Sutton,
Wild Whales Vancouver

May 19, 2011
Yesterday (5/19) at 13:10 we ran into this group of killer whales outside the Neah Bay jetty heading West in the strait. There were at least 7 different individuals traveling, saw a few taillobs and quick turns as well! Attached are several pictures - are these residents or transients? Please let us know when you are able to ID them, we really like having that information for our record. Also it helps us to know if we are making correct guesses on IDs. Thanks!
Adrianne Akmajian, Marine Mammal Technician, Makah Fisheries Management

From the photos we sent on to our list of researchers, we received this reply with IDs from Graeme Ellis of Canada's Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans:
Hi Susan, I see T099, T099A, T099B, T065A and T065A4.
Cheers, Graeme

May 18, 2011
Dave Ellifrit, Erin Heydenreich, Mercedes Powell, Kira Kranzler of the Center for Whale Research departed Snug Harbor on a clear and sunny afternoon at 3.59 pm with news of Transients. At 4.29pm we found the eight whales loosely spread about a mile east of Beaumont Shoal buoy
(48° 26.44 N; 123° 08.89 W).The individual whales were T99, T99A, T99B, T99C, T65A,T65A2, T65A3 andT65A4. The Females and calves mainly stayed in one group whilst two young males T99A and T65A2 played together constantly throughout the encounter. We stayed with the whales until 6.25pm when we left them about one mile South East of Seabird Point (48° 24.86 N; 123° 12.92 W) in tight medium travel, heading South West.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island, WA

Transient orcas T99s & T65As, Haro Strait May 18 by Kira Kranzler, CWR
Transients T99s and T65As, Haro Strait May 18, 2011
Photo by Kira Kranzler, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
taken under MMPA permit #532-1822

June 15, 2011

June 15

Today we encountered 5 Transient Killer Whales. I have rarely seen both residents and transients in the same area, ignoring each other, but I wonder if they do have a cosmic agreement in sharing the range? Ironic that so often, when the residents are out of range, then here come the transients! The transients are much less frequent, so harder to identify individuals. T-65A with a calf, juvenile, and 2 others off of Wasp Passage at about 12:30pm. I noticed at least 1, maybe 2, had what appeared to me to be an open saddle patch; dark pigment going into the lighter patch. I wonder if anyone else saw and/or photographed that. I mention this, as a distinction of Transients was a closed saddle patch- no dark pigment, solid light patch on all of them. The whales headed west into San Juan Channel, staying closer to Orcas Island, although erratic surfacings after long dives in the pass, then they seemed to be hunting in the channel with circling, arching dives, and youngster tail flukes in the air! At 3pm they were still in San Juan Channel closer to Spieden Island.
Caroline Armon, Marine Naturalist, SSAMN, San Juan Excursions

June 15
Saw these ladies (see photo below - 3 adults and 1 calf) about 30 minutes outside of Friday Harbor on Wednesday morning, 6/15. We were so excited! We were told they were transients (due to the small grouping of only 4) and heard rumors later that they were the T-65's I think.
Jennifer Mueller
Transient orcas, T65s, Friday Harbor, June 15 by Jennifer Mueller
Transient orcas, T65s, Friday Harbor, WA, June 15, 2011
Photo by Jennifer Mueller

We had four transient orca (categorized as the T-65A's) come through Deer Harbor right when we were pulling out of the marina. They came through a narrow passage called Pole Pass at low tide slack water.Today's low tide was one of the lowest tides of the year. Not only that buttiming their transit of the pass when there was not any current running is a marvel of navigation. The current runs up to three to five knots through there on a normal tide. On today's tide it would be considerably stronger.
Tom Averna, Deer Harbor Charters, Orcas Island, WA