Subject: April brings Gray Whales and Spring Bird Migration

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9 Gray Whales are in Puget Sound!

Photo of a gray whale spyhopping (Photo by PSE Naturalist Bart Rulon)

We've spotted at least 9 gray whales returning to Puget Sound so far this year, including CRC-22 (Earhart), CRC-53 (Little Patch), CRC-56 (Stardust), CRC-383 (Cascade), CRC-2246, CRC-2249 (Hattie), CRC-2259, CRC-2356 (Stalwart), and CRC-2441. These "Sounders" come to the area to feed on ghost shrimp during their migration north to Alaska.

Our gray whale tours depart from Port Townsend and Seattle (Edmonds) through the end of April.

Bigg's orcas are also in the Salish Sea, and although we focus on grays this time of year, we've seen the T99 and T124D families on recent trips.

video of orcas surfacing on the water

Port Townsend Spring Bird Migration Tours

photo of hooded merganser by Rhododendrites.

In addition to gray whale tours, April brings our popular Spring Migration Bird Cruises, in partnership with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

1-4pm tours run from Port Townsend on April 6, 13, & 20.

Just off of Port Townsend are Protection Island and Smith Island Wildlife Refuges. Nearly 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits nest here, including one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world as well as the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. The area contains one of the last 2 nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.

Whether you are a “lister” or an explorer, the marine environment near Port Townsend offers tremendous birdwatching opportunities. Puget Sound Express offers the Pacific Northwest’s only birdwatching tours dedicated to getting you out to see marine birds.

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