Gray whales sighted in Poulsbo's Liberty Bay

POULSBO — Several sightings of gray whales in Liberty Bay in the last week have stirred up talk along the Poulsbo waterfront.

The Orca Network, a whale education organization based on Whidbey Island, received three reports of gray whales in the bay — one March 31, one Saturday and one Monday. Olympia-based Cascadia Research Collective also received a whale report from Poulsbo on Monday morning.

June Burt said she saw a gray whale breach about 20 feet from her dock on Virginia Point at noon Saturday. Burt kept an eye on the water for several hours but never saw the whale again.

"I'm still not over it," she said. "It was just very exciting."

Orca Network Director Howard Garrett said a few gray whales wander into Puget Sound each spring, splitting from the yearly migration route along the coast. Whales that enter the sound are often hungry and in search of food, he said. An emaciated gray whale died in the Shelton area Sunday.

"They take a turn, come into Puget Sound and just keep wandering the shoreline and end up in South Sound," Garrett said.

Orca Network's last logged sighting of a gray whale in Liberty Bay was from April 2007.

A group of whales stops to feed along Whidbey Island each year and arrived in February this year.

Have a whale tip or photo to share? E-mail or call (360) 779-1661.

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