We had a very windy Friday . The whole day the wind stayed around 30 knots from 5:00 AM to 18:00 PM . The rest of the WE was beautiful but foggy at night and in the morning. The fog horn has been working a lot those last mornings and nights but in the afternoons it has been really gorgeous .
The pump has been working for 8 hours in the WE, actually 4 hours each day, at the high tide and more hours will be necessary. The zodiac is now clean underneath and will be lighter and faster. Usual chores ;we have to clean the house windows almost 2 times a day.
First flying exercises for the older chickens. I found a dead body with the guts above ! River otter ‘s job pretty sure. At the most 15 Sea lions on the adjacent rocks . Not one on Main and only 2 elephant seals .they have lost a lot of weight now.
Many watching vessels and because there is not so much to see they make people enjoy their speed ,forgetting sometimes or often, where they are .
Cabezon are normally benthic or bottom-dwellers, living among rocks and seaweeds in tide pools. Sometimes they live just below the water’s surface among the marine plants. Their coloration allows them to remain well camouflaged. Their habitat is most likely rocky, sandy and muddy bottoms, living in areas with a depth range of 0 to 200 meters. Moreover, young cabezon feed on small crustaceans like amphipods, shrimp, and crabs. The adults feed on crustaceans, marine worms and mollusks, including clams and abalone. They can swallow a whole abalone and later regurgitate the indigestible shell; therefore, their tropic level is that of a secondary carnivore. In addition, the limiting factors that will affect the development and growth of this population in a certain habitat will be the presence of enough light, temperature and the availability of food and living space.
By August of 2007, a Cabezon has taken up a territory on the Tidal Energy Piling. Photo by Chris Blondeau.
Common Name: Cabezon, Scorpion Fish
The cabezon ( literally big head in Spanish ) is a benthic fish that lives among the kelp holdfasts and rocky areas, usually very close to the bottom. It is often so confident of its camouflage that it will not move when approached by divers. Note the multi colored eye. These fish will lunge at almost anything that moves on the bottom. Dissections of their stomachs reveal amphipods and small crabs, pieces of kelp (and even rocks they have grabbed when foraging for other invertebrates.)
Their maximum length and weight are 99.0 centimeters and 14.0 Kilograms respectively. This organism can be seen in the Eastern Pacific, which covers the areas from Southeastern Alaska to Punta Abrejos, in Central Baja California, Mexico. Race Rocks is located in the centre of this range. In this map we can see the range of this fish.
Reference The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) BioBot
Larus glaucescens is omnivorous, feeding on carrion, fish, invertebrates, seaweed and food stolen from other birds. One of the main sources of food for Glaucous-winged gull are the softer bodied invertebrates exposed during the low tide time at Race Rocks. It is also typical of their behavior to take their hard shelled food, such as clams, or gastropods and drop them onto rocks to break them open for eating.
waiting for food
This species is the only species of gull that nests on Great Race Rock. From June to September, there could be over 150 nests on the island. The adults also overwinter at Race Rocks, but occasionally disappear from the islands for a few weeks. They start their complicated behaviours aimed at establishing territories and bonding with mates as early as February or March. Their eggs are laid in June and hatching takes place in early July. In the 2002 season, 100 birds fledged successfully, after several years of failed nesting, probably due to fish shortages in the surrounding waters.
Sept. 15, 2005… Almost every day now in the morning, the bald eagles make a swoop around the island .
A fresh carcass of a juvenile is the result.
Here Diomedes demonstrates the webbed feet of the gull
In September, the clean looking feathers of the neck and head take on a mottled gray appearance as they undergo an annual moult.
The following pictures were taken by Ecoguardian Christine Ouradou in July of 2016 and appear in logs from that time.
In this picture by Evan Ferrari , the young juveniles, capable of flight, still hang around for a daily feeding from their parent
Common Name: Glaucous-Winged Gull
The Glaucous winged Gull,
In June of 2000, David Mesiha and Satoshi Kimura (PC yr 25) made videos of different aspects of gull behavior while staying on the island. Thus started the archiving of videos for racerocks.com
June 1-16 : Aggression between males is frequent. This takes the form of plucking grass in a standoff and in beak pulling. In this way territories are defined as the nests are being built.
May 1: Breeding in the colony has started and will continue throughout May and June.
This video was taken in early July, 2001, from the north window of the Marine Science centre at Race Rocks. It shows the second day in the life of a sea gull chick. The parents feed the chick a small fish, probably herring or needlefish.
In June, 2016, Lester Pearson College set up a live camera to follow the development of one of the Glaucous-winged Gull nests with eggs in the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve . Also the camera had infrared night vision.
West light wind in the morning,visibility:over 10 miles,sky :clear. In the afternoon the wind increased strongly to 35 knots at 9:PM and still 33 knots at 10:00 .In the evening fog and fog horn on.Water temperature :12.2 and salinity:30.4. Dusk before 9:30 PM.(1/2 h sooner than a month ago). Phenomenal sunset with some fog on the sea and some lightning on dark grey sky and a rainbow later!
Only 8 sea lions and 2 elephant seals :the bigger one and a small female (Chunck is gone) 5 geese visiting.
Heavy US navy boat going to the ocean. Watching boats.
kyle and Jeff from the college came to make a general check up of all the equipment on the rock:hydro,water,security,roofs,electricity,propane,cisterns…They went all around and took notes.
6 kayakers between Vancouver Island shore and Race Rocks (half distance )with a rescue Zodiac in case.4 First nations big canoes 2 under sails and one with oars between East Sooke and the States with some rescue power boats. 1st watching vessels at 9:30AM .In the afternoon around 3:30PM ,3 people in a small power boat were fishing in the ecological reserve.From south rocks to the middle passage ,with the engine in neutral position,they went through the passage 2 times .The guy was fishing with a short rod and we saw one of the women with a mackerel size fish in her hand . It took them 15min to go through . Because of the aggressive gulls all around we couldn’t go but we took all the references and phoned to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.They left in the Victoria direction and pretty soon to Pedder Bay at full speed.
Extensive activity for the DND Today; 14 blasts and the 4 last one were huge .
Elephant seals :2
Gulls: 390 mainly adults glaucous winged gulls, a few Heermann’s gulls only
West lo southwest light winds under 20 knots have been on almost all the time since last week. We got some fog and the fog horn running the whole night between Sunday and Monday to a stop at 8:30 in the morning.The rest of the day was sunny with a flat sea…
At low tide the water was pretty far discovering an interesting world of rocks covered with fresh algae. We could count only 4 sea lions (Steelers) around and 60 chickens seen from the front window. If we compare with last year we had 110 sea lions and 87 chickens from the front window .What a different situation.Last year the first one on the jetty came on the 23rd.We will see …the usual 4 elephant seals are most of the time sleeping on Main Rock and the babies are growing fast. Not so much drama I guess because they have enough space but the gulls closed to the path are still defensive and this night a new one was born with 2 more coming (the last ones )so it’s going to be even more difficult to go the jetty! No new dead birds.(only 3 to now ) On Sunday we could count more than 16 whale watching vessels way beyond the green boyd because of a long pod of orcas.
Guy changed the boat pump for a more efficient one.It was 360 GPM and now it’s 750. He left in the fog early on Monday because of an appointment with a Yamaha specialist. At the college they took the whaler off the water and put it on a trailer.We took the zodiac until the trailer is ready. Camera 3 has been stopped
3 times this week we had a plane above. Watching boats like usual.
We have a really nice weather in this middle July weekend.Light west winds ,no fog, sea calm.
We found 3 dead birds (2 gulls ans 1 pigeon – Guillemot) and it looked like it was the result of the river otter ‘s work…Eagles are active and always ready perched on the adjacent Rocks but with so many birds they can’t be efficient…No geese anymore and the small seashore birds are gone too. The kelp is growing like crazy and Chris with 2nd nature had to cut it to give us a free passage
We had a contact with Amatuana going to Sooke on Thursday afternoon. On Friday we saw around the coast guard vessel and on Saturday a small fishing boat had some problems. It honked a few times and I realized that it was not a simple engine problem . At that moment the sea was like a mirror and no current (Slack time) .They were at around 200 meters from the jetty where I was drawing so I rushed to the house to inform Guy . As soon as possible we put the boat out of the house and down in the railway but in the meantime a power boat arrived and a guy took the control and the two boats rushed to Pedder bay I guess. Half an hour later when I phoned to the marina they were not aware of a critical situation so I am still wondering what was exactly the matter.
Calm first days of the week .On Tuesday only the wind increased a little in the late evening to reach 30 knots Now the sunset is around 9:00.
Good fishing days for the gulls colony. We definitively have a big number of Heermann gulls .The 2 bigger elephant seals are spending more time in waters maybe because the ride is easier ,now that they have lost weight.
We had the pleasure to welcome the new Vice – President of Operations and Administration of Pearson College Tyrone Pyle. He came for a visit on the Rocks and the Director of Operations Chris Blondeau did the tour with him.
For the 1st time we had 10 blasts in the morning ,last one around 1:30 . One of the blast was huge .
Some beautiful sailboats from the States these days . 1 diving boat from Ogden Point with 3 Divers spent around 45mn and were like usual very closed to main on East side.