New hashtag for #racerocks

I have just started a twitter hashtag for our the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve  #racerocks  You are welcome to use this in your twitter feed to provide links to significant new news-worthy events concerning the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.

There is also a new one for British Columbia Ecological Reserves: #ecoreserves

GF

Battery Water Top Up

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-20 knots West
  • Sky: overcast in the morning, rather cleared up later
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals on Great Race

Maintenance

  • Kyle, Guy, and I topped up the water in the battery bank.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Lots of goose related work today.

Boats

  • Kyle and Guy came to the island at about 8:30.
  • They departed just before 10:00.
  • One fishing boat passed through the south channel, which is too narrow for boats to safely pass through when animals are present.
  • The boat also seemed to be going too fast.

9 eco-tours

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 W, in the evening up to 20 W
  • Sky: clear, later cloudy
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals on Great Race
  • 2 that I could see on Middle Rock
  • The sea lions were surprisingly calm today considering how many boats seemed to be too close.
  • The injured California sea lion was near the derrick again.

The injured cali sea lion

the elephant seals

Boats

  • 9 eco-tours came by today. I guess there was a big backlog of tourists after several days of high winds.
  • I think 8/9 of the boats today looked to be too close. Certainly the boats that viewed the sea lions near the derrick were the closest I have ever seen.
  • The viewing distance for boats near marine mammal haul-outs has been accepted by the Ecotour community to be 100 metres.

Other

  • One DND blast at 10:02.
  • Another one at 11:12.

Another Windy Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-35 knots West
  • Water: 2′ chop
  • Sky: Partly cloudy

Ecological

  • 13 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • In the morning there was a lone California Sea Lion on Great Race fairly far from shore.

Maintenance

  • More goose work.
  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • My coat now needs to be cleaned for the same reasons as the solar panels.

Boats

  • One pleasure craft passed through Middle Channel today.
  • Spied an attractive blue and white fishing boat to the north of the reserve.

Pleasure craft near jetty

Cute fishing boat

Other

  • 6 loud DND blasts today.
  • 10:40, 10:42, 11:50, 11:52, 13:57, 13:59

Windy Day, Frisky Elephant Seals

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-35 knots West
  • Water: 2′ chop
  • Sky: Overcast with showers, cleared up in the late evening

Ecological

  • The broken Canada Goose eggs from last night were still on the grass.
  • 13 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • 5 on Middle Rock.
  • The elephant seals just outside the house were in a frenzy all morning.
  • Some of them play fought for hours, whilst others tried to mate.
  • Inevitably they all ended up in a big pile of flailing bodies.
  • Saw an injured California sea lion on the derrick rocks.
  • It appears as though it had part of a flipper torn off.
  • Boat motor or predator?
  • There was a tiny harbour seal on the east part of Great Race.
  • It was farther from water then I had ever seen one.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.
  • Again unfavourable conditions to run the fire pump.

Boats

  • No boats in the reserve.
  • A couple sail boats farther out.

Seawater Temperature and Salinity at Race Rocks 2011-July 30, 2015

The Seawater Salinity and temperature data has been taken by the Ecoguardians at Race Rocks. It is submitted monthly to the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, BC Canada,  The complete set of data can be accessed here:
http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/oceans/data-donnees/lighthouses-phares/data/racerockday.txt Continue reading

Grey Day at Race Rocks

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots W, later 0-5 NE, then 20-25 NW
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Sky: mostly cloudy, rain in the evening.

Ecological

  • 12 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • 3 elephant seals on Middle Rock.
  • 8 sea lions on the rocks near the Derrick.
  • One of them appears to have some sort of plastic box/device attached to its back. I didn’t have the camera with me when I saw it, and when I left to grab the camera it fled into the water.
  • Several more bald eagles in the reserve than in previous days.
  • Discovered that one of the goose nests had been abandoned sometime between 20:20 and 22:00. Saw 6 shattered eggs laying strewn about the grass with no sign of the geese.

Comfy? Seagulls mating

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Cleaned the camera lens. Not perfect, but better.
  • Ventured down to the jetty to run the fire pump, but there were too many elephant seals playing in the water or on the ramp.

Boats

  • Didn’t see any in the reserve today, which is odd for a weekend, but I guess the weather was a factor.
  • A few sailboats were out and about taking advantage of the wind.

Gale-ish Weather for Earth Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-35 knots W, then NW
  • Water: 2′ chop
  • Sky: cloudy, a few drops of rain

Ecological

  • Yesterday’s lone sea lion on the rocks near the derrick was joined by 6 others today.
  • Later a sea lion briefly ended up on the end of the jetty.
  • Lots of Canada Goose infighting as newcomers jostle for territory with existing nesters.

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • More goose work.
  • Got the manufacture date from the Yamaha outboard for Kyle.
  • Vacuumed up fruit flies in the basement.
  • Wanted to run the fire pump today to add some water to the cistern, but the combination of nearby sea lions, elephant seals, and high winds made this unwise.

Boats

  • A couple of fishing boats outside the reserve.
  • One eco-tour passed by the south rocks in the late afternoon.
  • It appeared to be too close to the sea lions.

Other

  • A couple of DND blasts at 10:06 & 10:08.
  • The buoys were still present at low tide in Middle Channel.

Census and an Unexpected Trip

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 knots West
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • Sky: partly cloudy

Ecological

  • Conducted a census.
  1. Harbour Seals: 126
  2. California Sea Lions: 27
  3. Northern Sea Lions: 27
  4. Elephant Seals: 17 (12 on Great Race, 5 on Middle Rock)
  5. River Otter: 1
  6. Seagulls: 563
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 54
  8. Black Turnstones: 51
  9. Canada Geese: 21
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 14
  11. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  12. Bald Eagles: 5 (4 immature, 1 adult)
  13. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  14. Cormorant: 2
  15. Surfbird: 1

Maintenance

  • Canada Goose themed work.

Boats

  • One eco-tour came by today.
  • Had a phone call from Kyle this morning to let me know that he would be picking me up around 13:00 for a First Nations cultural sensitivity workshop at Pearson College.
  • This was a surprise to me, but nice to get off the island for a few hours.
  • Always good to be reminded and educated on past and present issues.

POW and Middle Rock E-seals

Visitors

  • When Kyle arrived to pick me up he came ashore to take a look at a few things, and then admire the elephant seals.

Other

  • Two loud DND blasts around 12:50.

Kayak Fleet Inspection

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots E; in the afternoon 15 knots W; early evening 28 knots W.
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • Today’s high temperature of 17.1 c was a new observed record, beating last year’s mark of 14.7 C.

Another sunrise!

Ecological

  • Still unable to find any black oystercatcher nests. I think it’s probably too early for them to be laying any eggs though.
  • Discovered a new nesting pair of Canada Geese today.
  • 11 elephant seals on Great Race.
  • 5 on Middle Rock.
  • One elephant seal ventured out to the end of the jetty to look around.
  • Later an elephant seal went up to a Canada Goose nest and inspected the area. I think it was the same seal from the jetty.
  • Found a broken up Canada Goose egg not far from a different nest. Wonder who did that?
  • Found some cool bones on the rocks today, including a fin and some teeth.
  • A fleet of about 19 kayaks passed by the South Rocks this morning, and this spooked the sea lions who all ended up in the water.
  • While I suspect there was a stampede, I didn’t actually see it.
  • As the kayaks assembled in the SW portion of the reserve, a large group of sea lions swam towards the kayaks to investigate. Not something I have seen before!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Performed a distilled water volume estimate: 50-55 litres.
  • More goose work.

Boats

  • Two eco-tours came by today.
  • A couple of small fishing boats passed by.
  • One of the fishing boats looked like it was going too fast.
  • A sailboat passed by. One of the occupants gave the buoys a good long look.
  • Speaking of which, the “lost buoys” from yesterday reappeared this morning around the same time. Are they perhaps anchored there, and only appear at low tide?

Other

  • While lying in bed at 22:30 I heard two loud DND blasts.