Seabirds feeding in large numbers

Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Good evening

Max. 10.5ºC — Min. 8.3ºC — Reset 9.4ºC — Rain 7.6 mm
WEATHER:The day started off fairly calm but by 14:00 there were 3-4metre swells pounding the eastern shore-this sea condition due to the 40-45knot winds from the weather system 15kms to the east.Our wind never rose above E 22 and then it lasted only 30minutes.
MARINE LIFE: 1500-1800 sea birds,mostly gulls and cormorants,spent the morning feeding in the large kelp bed on the east side of Gr.Race but when the large swells started rolling in and breaking, most came ashore and settled along the ridges on the south side.The 2 Northern,13 California and 3 Northern Elephant Seals hauled out in the small east bay went into the water after 15 minutes or so of rollers breaking over them. Maybe the 35-40 Harbour Seals that frequent this small area will ‘reclaim’ their their spot!
The Sea Lions and Seals do often share haul-out areas but since it is a very small bay I think the smaller seals feel intimidated as the number of Sea Lions gets past 4 or 5.Several years ago one of the Harbour Seals was crushed to death when 30 or so Sea Lions ‘stampeded’ into the water because of a boat passing too close to shore.
An immature Bald Eagle caught an immature gull in the SE rocks area a little after 11:00, spent 15-20 minutes eating and putting the run on 7 crows trying to share in it’s good fortune. Finished eating, the eagle circled the island once then headed towards Whirl Bay.
As the swells roll through the kelp beds much of it is breaking away and floating by in big clumps-a sure sign of winter on it’s way!
HUMAN INTERACTIONS: U.Vic Lifetimer boat with students again today.
posted by Carol or Mike S at 6:21 PM
Good morning
Sky overcast — Vis. 12 miles — Light rain showers — Wind north 13 knots — Sea 1’chop
posted by Carol or Mike S at 7:35 AM