Windy days

Weather

The weather was the main concern around here . On  Monday :A light fog at 6:30 PM only on the U.S.coast later .The wind has been around 20 knots at 5:30 AM and during the day increased to 35 in the afternoon with a gale warning for the evening and actually the wind went to 45 knots around 10:00 PM.

On Tuesday:we had 30 knots at 5:30  with a choppy sea and a good visibility .The wind diminished in the morning but increased after Noon and we had a gale warning in effect for the rest of the day at a maximum of 37 knots . Beautiful  dark blue sea and white caps everywhere.

Ecological

We had 4 elephant Seals on main Rock  (the 2 big ones and,a young male and an older female). They all managed to get protected from the wind and came closed to the boat shed. The birds are more and more protective of their nest and we got some helmets in case.

Boats and visitors

No boats around except Second Nature in the morning with Chris and 2 journalists from CTV. They spend 2 hours and tried to understand what is the life around the Rock. We brought them on the top of the lighthouse and explained the best we could.

 

 

Census Day

Gulls:475

Elephant Seals: 5 ( on main )

Sea lions :0

Harbour Seals:104(same number than last week!)

Pigeons-Guillemot:50

Oystercatchers:3 couples +1 baby :7 ( maybe more )

Harlequin ducks:0

Eagles:1 (5 seen in the week)

Canada geese:0

Whales:0

Cormorants:0 (3 seen above this week)

Seashore birds:  -11 Western sandpipers or surfbirds

-1 Whimbrel

– Another specie :not very small black ones :2

On Sunday .The weather has been magnificent and hot with a light west wind. The seawater temperature got warmer than Yesterday.We got a few hours of fog last night with the horn on.

The rocks are not so busy those days …(no luck for the watchers).The kelp is growing like crazy. I found a fresh small herring on a solar panel! The eagle are pretty active in the morning.I saw for the first time this year some seashore birds and going for the water sampling from the jetty I quickly had a glimpse on one little oystercatcher,the one from “the”nest. It looks to me that we have only one baby.

Other: 2  planes above and a  kayak with 2 people went around the rocks at the end of the slag (beginning of the ebb tide :current :4 knots). No problem…

Maintenance : Another curtain for bedroom number 3 in the eco – guardians house, grass cut, solar panels done,water sample house cleaned.

Eagles around

Weather

At 5:00 West wind 10 miles  Calm. Cloudy and foggy. 20 to 25 knots expected . We got 28 knots at Noon and 34 at 4PM. Very strong currents with the rising tide. Seawater temperature:10.9 (it’s colder)and 31.2 for the salinity the same than Yesterday.

Ecological

4 elephant seals on main . 4 has been the maximum number this week;usually the 2 older one and the 2 elegant young ones .Those 2 are always together . I call them ”the flippers”.No sea lions and impossible to find the  newborn oystercatchers.the 2 parents are steady so the little ones must be hidden around.The eagles are pretty aggressive :first attack at 5:30 ,a second one at 6:30 and another one at 7:00. One of the eagle has a low fly and came very closed to our window.What a scenery!. Around Camera 5 there are many eggs and  almost all of them have 3 eggs.

Visitor

3 people came with Kyle for a short visit. A second year student Malou and her parents from Greenland. Malou was disappointed because she couldn’t show a busy place : no Sea lions around! That make a big change .

Maintenance

Guy put a new belt and a new winch on the whaler trailer.I did some compost maintenance, adding some wood chips.(we are waiting for some moss peat). Solar panels cleaned like everyday .Camera 5 cleaned. ( In a week it would have been a true venture with the gulls around).

Other

Flying objects day: 2 planes above : one time at low altitude and the second time higher . Maybe the same plane coming back to Victoria. later a small watching boats came around with 2 people on board. It happened that guy was at that moment looking at the sea with the telescope and was amazed to see one of them opening a box with inside a drone for photos.After at least 30 minutes ,they finally left with their toy in the box. They wanted us to come on the jetty . Guy made politely but efficiently clear that they had to go: The camera was a very useful tool!

Fog horn 2nd time in a month

Weather

At 5:00 AM wind 15-20 knots increased to 27 knots in the evening. Cloudy and foggy (no  census Today!) Calm sea and Visibility :3 miles.The fog horn honked a part of the night.This didn’t happen often this month. Seawater:10.9 degrees and Salinity:31.2.

Ecological

No birds around the oystercatchers nest maybe because of the pretty strong wind?We saw just see 2 Sea lions on South Islands and 3 elephant seals at night on the rock ! quiet and lonely place.

Boats

A RCMP vessel was doing in the late evening some navigation practice around the green boyd and we watched the same boats passing by : a big fishing boat and the cruise ships coming from Victoria. At 10:30 PM the last watching boat.

Maintenance 

We had a meeting at the college with Chris and at the same time Kyle had a look at the whaler. He changed a filter and some spark plugs.Maybe a checkup by Yamaha specialist pretty soon.We got some rods for the new curtains in the eco guardians house and some wood chips for the compost.

Blue mountains

Weather

At 5:00 light west wind 15/20 knots;Sky:cloudy;Visibility:10 miles; Sea:calm.Some rain in the morning

Ecological

The famous couple got their babies.They were not easy to observe and the parents became alarmed as soon as we got closed. so impossible to get pictures . About birds : the colony of pigeons -guillemot is getting bigger and  we have only 3 or 4 elephant seals on main.

Visitors

We got a group of people from Metchosin. They were so happy to be here that for us it has been such a pleasure to share our small world. On person thought not be able to come in his lifetime and the other one has been a  fisherman and used to see the rocks from the sea and never came on the rock .  Very touching ..We went to the top of the lighthouse ;so much fun for them and for us !

Maintenance

The desalinator was on for 9 hours and the generator for 4 hours.Guy changed the propane tank of the main house and we will need to fill up the finished one .Ready to go on the jetty.

Other

2DND blasts – strong ,always surprising.

In the evening around 6H00, looking by the window I realized that the mountain and the Vancouver Island coast was all blue. Beautiful but unusual and sure enough ,going outside it was smoke smelling…That remembered me the 5Th July ,2015 this awful yellow sky! I checked right away on CBC and it was some 4 apartment buildings in Saanicht burning. A friend of us living closed never got a clue of it.

 

Oystercatchers chicks there!

This morning after the panels cleaning I went to have a look on the nest and furtively I just got the glimpse of one little bird. Because of the parents around I didn’t came too close and excited I came back and check on my computer camera and there it was not evident that the nest was with no eggs so Guy went back to have a look and the first time he saw only an empty nest and many white feathers all around so he fears for the worst and finally he went a second time and here they were :two adorable little black birds . As soon as possible we will get pictures

Heermann’s Gulls?

Weather

At 5:30 westerly 30 knots wind ;Visibility: 10 miles ; Sea: wavelets and white caps. The wind stayed pretty steady the whole day.

Ecological

For the first time I saw a gull quickly replacing the other on the nest .Speaking about gulls, we saw around 20 gulls among the others with a red bills (maybe Heermann gulls ? ) It a real challenge to know the kind when you are not a specialist! Only 3 elephant Seals ( the 2 large males and a young) on main ,around 80 harbour seals on Turbine and I just spotted 2 Seal lions(Californian) on South Islands. Where are they gone? At one time all the gulls were in the sky : I jumped on my camera and when I looked at my pictures later I discovered that the problem was an Oystercatcher ! So small birds but that long and thin beac must be fearsome. The oyster catcher nest under camera with no move ,the bird on the nest. Oyster catcher nest :Still

Maintenance

The solar panels are one of the favorite perching places for gulls and I tell you they need to be cleaned! Guy organised the wood closed to the boat shed and discovered a bench under the pile. He cleaned and sanded it, so now it’s again a bench and we have a gossip corner!.He saw some woods and did a new pile, Winter will come…

Other

A call from Kyle . He was around with a group of people from the college . We had an eye on the boat in case…Tomorrow he will come back and will visit the Rocks with another group . At the same time he will bring some stuff like wood chips for the compost

 

Full moon ,no moon on the Rock

Weather

Very calm day even our flag stayed still for a while but late in the afternoon the sky was pretty dark on the south side  of the rocks and and we got a gale warning :35 knots were expected.Actually we got 32 at 10:00. We have been disappointed by a no moon situation on a full moon day! It’s interesting to know that it was full moon and Summer solstice at the same time . Last time it happened was in 1948. Almost Once in a lifetime.

Boats

A tugboat with its wooden long tail.Some watching boats like usual. One diving boat almost on shore with 2 guys in the water.

Ecological

we saw 3 eagles :2 at the same time on Middle Rocks and one on South Islands.

Chunk went for a long and quiet bath.

Gulls are getting more aggressive.

Other

Quick recycling trip to the college in the afternoon and we brought  back our delighted daughter at the same time . She spent a wonderful time in this wild environment.

Helicopter above in the morning.

 

Beautiful Summer week-end

Weather

For the whole weekend  Wind: Light west breeze; Visibility: over 15 miles; Sky: light clouds to sunny. Some rain in the evening on Friday (good for a rock cleaning!)

Ecological

The bird on the nest under video is pretty steady on her nest and we are expecting the small ones pretty soon. During the week end we have seen no Sea lions . They all disappeared from the rocks :a pretty silent place now because even 4 of them can be very noisy.We saw the same day 2 groups of 4 orcas on the south side of the island.The moon is getting bigger and the days longer …lovely  and gorgeous time of the year and especially on Race Rocks. We have 6 to 7 elephants seals on main. they are moulting a lot and you can find pieces of skin all around.The gulls now are everywhere ,very organized and some are still mating and preparing new nests . They get in fighting a lot more too. No cormorants but 4 cormorants went above may be they will do a coming back soon.

Boats

With the Weekend and Summer many many whale watching vessels around the rocks Most of the time they can be closed but they are respectful. However I have to say that one time just before sunset 2 of them went full speed between main and Channel Rocks: sad and frustrating.

It’s a busy time for the cruising vessels . Victoria had 5 boats on the same day. they are magnificent when they leave in the sunset . One time one crossed a huge barn full of wood ; 2 important sides of the west coast economy right under my eyes.

Visitors

1 visitor one of our daughter came on Sunday and stay overnight with us.

Maintenance

Closets tidying up inside

Grass cutting (compost side )

Solar panels very dirty those days

 

Other

An Coast guard helicopter did a big circle but not above the reserve. on Saturday a plane did the same and the usual seaplane on Saturday