A group of volunteers looking for birds ended up getting quite a different sight while in Stanley Park last Friday morning.
Frank Lin of Surrey was conducting a bird survey near Brockton Field when someone in his group spotted a whale.
“I was actually paying attention to the birds around. I was looking at the field with the geese,” he recalls.
The group raced down to the seawall and managed to capture a glimpse of the killer whales in the Burrard Inlet.
“It looked like there were five of them in that group,” says Lin, noting the orcas were focusing their attention on a seal.
Lin, using his long lens camera, photographed the very moment the whales breached.
"I was really like... [at a] loss for words,” he says. “A lot of it was really down to like luck for the breaching."
Lin had to explain to the interns in the group that this was not typical.
"This is not something you'll see every day in Vancouver,” he says.
One of the members in the bird group did call the coast guard to alert them to the mammals. The orcas stayed in the area for about 30 minutes before carrying on west towards Lions Gate Bridge
"I don't think I'll get another shot like that again,” he says.
A North Vancouver wildlife photographer was also able to capture a pod of whales in the Burrard Inlet on Friday. Lin believes it was likely the same group.