Elephant seal intrigue

Black Oystercatchers are the species of the day with the first chicks sighted in the nest to the E of the Main Keeper’s house. Camera 1 will just be able to make them out if they stay put. Another nest was discovered directly behind tank #1 that is a “limited-time only” infrastructure feature on the island. 3 nests with eggs:3,2,3 (now 2+chicks,2,3), 2 brooding pairs with undiscovered nests, and 2 pairs with overlapping feeding territories but no suspected nest sites.
Elephant Seal: 3
An eventful day for the elephant seals. More sunlight and less wind than we’ve been used to this spring brought all three Elephant Seals on Great Race down to the water… but not before Misery had a go at mounting Bertha. She escaped up the “steep” path to the grass on top of the foundation left from the original keeper’s house. Bertha then slipped past the sleeping Misery and lay on the ramp right at the water line in the shade but not in the water. Misery woke and detected the deception and came barreling down the path and boat ramp. Bertha took off through the water like a startled harbour seal, moving closer to the hauled-out California sea lions. She did not come back on land until dark. After all his effort, Misery followed just until he was in the water and took to splashing water back across his body which both trickled and steamed off his late winter coat. Once refreshed, he moved further into the water, floating and steaming in the warm sunshine. Seeing/smelling Bertha in deeper waters, he followed her only to have her swim even further away. El seal tagged#4252 was already in the water and Misery soon sensed her and tried to pin her against the rocks in the shallow sea lion haul-out, but she snapped at him and also swam to deeper waters. Just before sunset, Misery returned to land, trumpeting in the shallows. Looking at records (and noting how much girth Misery has put on lately), the habitat use of our two adult bull elephant seals is very different. Misery: showed up for the ‘season’ first in October, was back before Slash showed up for the pupping season, stayed longer through the breeding season, and is now here moulting (as he did this time last year). His moult is delayed 1-2 weeks compared to last year. That all said, Misery has grown significantly this season after spending much of the last 6 months here at Race Rocks, while our dominant bull spends much greater times away before returning with added mass.