Except for the chill early and late, April 9th was almost like a summer day. Solar radiation reached a high of ~825 watts/meter2 today, certainly enough to make bull kelp shoot up and solar panels top up batteries. Light airs from the south barely moved the flag most of the day and the westerlies The barometer was fairly steady today but is falling now and the forecast is for increasing cloudiness overnight and rain tomorrow.
There was active whale watching activity today and six tour boat visits observed inside the Ecological Reserve. A pod of four Killer Whales passing just to the south of the Ecological Reserve drew a crowd. There seemed to be a small one that was breaching, a larger sub-adult, a large adult male and a female. I did not see the whales enter the Ecological Reserve.
There was military blasting today on the surface at Bentick Island, from late morning through into the afternoon.
Thursday is census day and here are the results.
Killer Whales 4 (just outside of ER)
Northern Elephant Seals 19
Harbour Seals 87
California Sea lions 31
Northern Sea lions 27
Canada Geese 22
Harlequin Ducks 8
Pelagic Cormorants 15
Double Crested Cormorants 12
Brandt’s Cormorants 4 (Flying through, did not stop.)
Bald Eagle 2 adults, 6 sub-adult
Turkey Vulture 1
Killdeer 2 (at least, difficult to count in the dark)
Black Oystercatcher 8
Black Turnstone 7
Pigeon Guillemots 344
Glaucous-winged Gull 298
Gull sp. 1 (see photo)
Northwestern Crow 10
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Lots of chores were completed today, including extras like fixing the solar panel squeegee, washing outside windows, fixing another bench, beach-combing and tidying. We rearranged the desk/office area to make it more efficient and ergonomic, stood radio watch for a field trip to Swordfish Island, fixed the phone/internet again with subsequent re-boots of weather system and underwater camera, etc. Internet/phone down again just as I go to post this. Now back up after one last tower visit for the night.