Orcas Feeding on the Continental Shelf was spectacular today as we observed breaching, fluke slapping and tail lobbing all around us. Our morning firstly began with Blackberry and his family pod, he has grown extraordinarily over the last two years and now has one of the tallest dorsal fins in the population. Three families were travelling together as Blackberry, Noosa and Queen along with their pod members travelled in an enormous pod of 25+ individuals throughout the morning. It was very special to watch so many Orca surface together at the same time as they continued their consistent foraging while the young calves came over to interact with us with much curiosity. Blackberry and his family began to surge and we watched on as the surface activity began quickly, breaching and tail slapping erupted all round us as Alki and her family joined in on the hunt as they continued to push up to the very top of the continental shelf.
The last few days we have witnessed increased pod interaction as they begin to prepare for a change in season and start to coordinate multiple pods working together in search of larger prey items including baleen whales. Today it appeared from what evidence was observed that the Orca had successfully targeted Australian Salmon on the continental shelf. The birds were diving on silvery, fish flesh scraps on the surface and perhaps the intense amount of fluke slapping we were watching around us was being used to stun the salmon. We will continue to watch the change in hunting tactics as the change of season brings new information to light of the food preferences of the Orca as we move further into Autumn. A truely spectacular day with even a Hammerhead Shark enjoying the food scraps left behind by the Orca as the incredible surface activity continued.