Gray Whales, Orcas Still Spotted Aplenty on Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – Not just the holiday weekend but the last two weeks have been full of whale sightings all over the Oregon coast. Various runs of great weather have had much to do with the copious spottings, but Killer Whales seem to be sticking around a little longer than usual as well.
Many reports keep coming in, mostly from the central Oregon coast, but some up on the northern Oregon coast. As long as conditions stay pretty mellow the Gray Whales should be easy to spot. Many are still in migration but quite a few linger around the central coast, gobbling up tiny shrimp.
A rather famous video showed up last week of a pair of Orcas popping in and out of the water at Tillamook Bay – an area which is a bit unusual for them to wander into.
Back in the middle of May, whale watch tour company Whale Research Eco Excursions was noting a sudden appearance of some regulars.
“It was a beautiful day out on the ocean today with Blanco, one of our resident whales, and four of his friends,” the company posted to its Facebook page. “The sun was shining and the whales were being extra friendly.”
A day or two later, as that big heatwave hit the Oregon coast and Portland, owner Carrie Newell made some more startling observations.
“Yesterday evening Orcas were seen in the area feeding just out past the buoy but were nowhere to be seen today,” Newell posted. “It was another beautiful day in Depoe Bay today with temps reaching the 80's and Gray whales out for the watching.”
Social media lit up over the holiday weekend about all the whale sightings. Agate Beach Motel in Newport talked about seeing numerous cetaceans wandering past from Friday through Sunday.
Newell made more such observations herself on Sunday.
“The whale watching has only been getting better and better as we get closer to summer,” Newell posted. “Today, we not only had close encounters with Comet, a summer resident, we saw a pod of transient Orcas that were very active and breaching.”
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has also noted that whales have been lingering quite a bit lately. The agency estimates some 200 resident whales stay along the Oregon coast in summer and have definitely begun showing up.
ODFW said Gray whale mothers and calves, the last of the northern migrants, are still meandering north to the feeding grounds in the Arctic. The Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay reported seeing between two to 10 whales most days.
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