Wednesday, November 29, 2017

11-29-17 Groupings Toward Year's End

November 29th

In the early part of 2017 J Pod was split in a different manner than Group A and Group B.
Part of Group B, the J17 family group, and Onyx L-87, who was part of Group A, on multiple occasions were seen together and away from the rest of J Pod, by many miles.

The J16 family, who is known for their independence, was seen several times as the only SRKWs in the inland waters on several different occasions this year.

All of J Pod was pretty scarce in these inland waters for a good portion of the season.

In May, when they came in, Onyx was traveling with Cookie J-38.  Cookie had lost his brother the prior December.  Cookie belonged to Group B, but on this day it seemed that there was no Group A or B, it was J Pod, and they were back as a full unit.  They pretty much stayed that way, at least through November.
However, the J16 family maintained their independence.  Sonic J-52, a member of this family, died in September, so there was definitely more going on during this summer's season for this family group than we humans knew about.

With the loss of Granny, Shachi J-19, a Group A whale, had become the matriarch and some people wondered why Slick J-16, who is actually the oldest female in J Pod, did not become the matriarch.
-perhaps they want to keep their independent ways;
-perhaps it was because Sonic was in ill health, so this family had other things to deal with.
We will have to watch to see what unfolds in 2018.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017 Group A - Group B - Starting the New Year

It is the beginning of January, 2017

News came in the early afternoon that another whale has died. Granny J-2

2016 was a year of too many losses to this community.

There were 3 losses that basically didn't have a chance:
J-55 - seen only one time
deceased calf being pushed by Tsuchi J-31
deceased calf - necropsy showed a member of the community but no lineage identified   

Group A lost:
Granny J-2

Samish J-14

Group B lost:
Polaris J-28  
Dipper J-54 
DoubleStuf J-34

An additional member of the community not related to J Pod, but who needs to be included in noting deaths is:
Nigel L-95

(I may have missed another...just not sure...)

Whether Group A and Group B will split again remains to be seen.  During December 2016 some members of each family group were seen together.  They were spread far across whatever body of water they were in and spread from the leaders to the trailers, so it was difficult to tell exactly who all were present.

ADDED: And now with Granny J-2 gone, the matriarch of not only J Pod but of the entire community there may be some big changes this next year. Maybe not.  We can only watch and learn.

IN 2016 
When J Pod came in and basically stayed, it was early July. 
It was Granny's Group - Group A that came in first.
Next was part of Group B - the J17s and the J22s. 
Then the J11s  - Group B - showed up with L Pod whales!  

There were times Group A and B were together, including the J16s who sometimes go off on their own. They still are maintaining those close affiliations which they have had for a long, long time, and likely always will.

So are Group A and Group B still just that?  Yes, but...and if nothing else it helps you know who to look for and if you don't find them, then you start expanding to the other Group or possibly even to K or L pod.