16 Gray Whales for 2021, including a New One

We’ve Certainly had a banner gray whale watching season this year with higher than average numbers of gray whales.  So far we’ve had at least 16 individual gray whales visit us this spring.  In a normal year we will have around 10 regular visitors.  So far in 2021 we have seen gray whales with Cascadia Research collective ID numbers 21, 44, 53, 56, 185, 356, 383, 531, 723, 2246, 2249, 2255, 2259, 2261, 2356, and 2362!  That last whale, CRC2356, is a brand new gray whale for our area this year.  This whale was first spotted from our Edmonds trip on April 3 of this year feeding at low tide at the edge of the Snohomish River Delta.  We have seen him/her on several occasions since then.  After that first sighting we sent photos in to Cascadia Research Collective where Alie Perez took it through their catalog of over 2000 gray whales without finding a match.  So she assigned the whale its brand new ID number shortly after that.  Every year we work closely with whale researchers and share sighting information and photographs with them to help with their work.  We hope this whale finds plenty of food here and decides to become another regular visitor in future years!  I’ve included ID photos of each side of this whale here.  Hopefully we will be able to get a photo of 2362’s tail flukes before the whale decides to leave.  Photographer/ Naturalist Bart Rulon