When is the Best Time to See Wildlife in BC & Desolation Sound?
Depending on your priorities, the wildlife viewing in British Columbia and in Desolation Sound specifically can be great at any time of summer.
Early season trips in May and June are more likely to be interesting for bird watchers, as many species that tend to migrate away in the summer can still often be seen in Desolation Sound, such as surf scoters, common loons and grebes, and many of the colourful male variations of waterfowl. Furthermore, bird species that change from winter to summer plumage can often still be seen in their winter garb, such as marbled murrelets and the plucky Bonaparte’s gulls.
Early summer marine mammal sightings are far more likely to include the impressive California and Steller sea lions, both of which head off at the end of June – some north and some south – to their summer breeding grounds.
As the summer goes on, larger marine mammals – particularly humpback whales – are seen with more regularity. Humpbacks in particular tend to congregate in Desolation Sound and the northern Strait of Georgia in great numbers in late August and September (and into October) before they head south for the winter.
Throughout the summer, many species are spotted with regularity no matter which month. Bald eagles, seals and porpoises, and intertidal critters such as sea stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins are spotted all year, and transient orcas will pass through the area intermittently throughout the year, always a treat from the seat of a kayak!
Learn more about Wildlife in Desolation Sound here.