A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-30 knots West all day
  • Sky: mostly clear.
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Saw a Steller sea lion branded 365Y.
  • Saw a California sea lion branded U949
  • I’m pretty sure the high winds were responsible for some of the lower bird counts.
  1. Harbour Seals: 114
  2. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 65
  3. California Sea Lions: 63
  4. Elephant Seals: 11 (8 on Great Race, 3 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 251
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 68
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 22
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 16
  10. Surfbirds: 5
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 5 (2 males and 3 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 4
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 4
  14. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)
  15. Crows: 2

Other

  • I spent a good portion of the day ill in bed.

Windy Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-40 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast, some rain in the evening.
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • Seven elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • The same set from yesterday, minus the weaner.
  • Some of them are definitely starting to moult.

Boats

  • One brave eco-tour rode the waves today.

Helicopter Generator Swap

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: mostly overcast, some rain in the evening.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • There were eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • That is the most I have seen out here during this current shift.
  • Three of the younger males enjoyed a spirited bout or two.
  • The rest of them snoozed off in pairs or alone.
  • The birds and sea lions were definitely disrupted by the helicopter.

Maintenance

  • Kyle and four men from the Coast Guard removed the old Generator B.
  • A Coast Guard helicopter then dropped off a new generator, and took away the old one.
  • They then placed the new generator in its spot.
  • I helped out with various auxiliary tasks, but mostly just took photographs.
  • Tidied up loose tools after everyone had departed.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • A few eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle, the four Coast Guard men, and Ian and Stephen.
  • They all departed in the early afternoon.

Other

  • Coast Guard helicopter overflight.

 

Visitors of the friend type

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West
  • In the evening, 20-26 knots West
  • Sky: mostly clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Five elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • I spied a sea otter swimming through the South Channel!
  • Saw a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers, along with another mystery bird.
  • Alas, I had not the camera on me to document this bird; it may have been a Western Sandpiper though!
  • Also saw a swallow for the first time!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Kyle dropped off two of my friends in Second Nature.
  • Several eco-tours came by.

Visitors

  • Ian and Stephen came over for a one night visit.
  • They are friends with yours truly, Riley Strother.

R. Strother at work.

Bald Eagle Eating his food

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots West
  • In the evening, 15-20 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast and a few drops of rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • There were six elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Other than some brief interactions between two of them near the flagpole, all six kept far apart on separate parts of the island.
  • The weaner has only moved about 10 feet since yesterday.
  • Watched a bald eagle eat a meal on the driftwood lumber pile.

Boats

  • Only one eco-tour that I noticed today.

Earth Day, I presume?

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 25-30 knots North East
  • In the afternoon, 20-25 knots West
  • In the evening, 10-15 knots West
  • Sky: mostly overcast and a few drops of rain.
  • Water: 1′ chop
  • A nice view of the snow on Hurricane Ridge in the morning.

Ecological

  • Four elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • The weaner slept all day beside the main house.

Maintenance

  • On this Earth Day, I would like to take the time to thank (however corny it made sound) the framework of the Ecological Reserve, which helps to maintain the wild beauty of these spectacular islands!

Boats

  • One fishing boat, and a couple of eco-tours came by today.

Sunshine Friday

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South West.
  • In the early afternoon, 15-20 knots North East.
  • In the evening, 5-10 knots South East.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • The weaner returned for what I believe to be the first time since April 10th.
  • She(?) spent the whole day snoozing on the ramp beside the jetty.
  • One elephant seal went over to join the lonely muddy e-seal on the west side of the island.
  • This made for a total of three elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • There were six elephant seals on Middle Rock.
  • I only saw one Short-billed Dowitcher today.

Maintenance

  • Did some goose work.
  • Hand pumped some diesel.

 

Census and Students

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South.
  • From 17:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear and sunny most of the day.
  • From 17:00 onwards, some clouds and rain.
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • One sea lion was branded U958.
  • Colour wise it looks like a Steller, but if you look at the head I think it was a California.
  • Laura and her class found a sculpin (type of fish) head.
  • Four of what I suspect to be Short-billed Dowitchers today. Fun to watch!
  • Didn’t see the killdeer today, which is unusual.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 66
  2. Harbour Seals: 60
  3. California Sea Lions: 57
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (4 on Great Race, 9 on Middle Rock)
  5. Pigeon Guillemots:  269
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 154
  7. Surfbirds: 57
  8. Canada Geese: 17
  9. Black Turnstones: 17
  10. Cormorants unspecified: 14
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (5 males and 4 females)
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  13. Savannah Sparrows: 6
  14. Short-billed Dowitchers: 4
  15. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 0 immature)

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out multiple times, delivering 4 groups of students.
  • On her second last return, she had overheating issues, so Kyle had to come out in Haiku for the last trip.

Visitors

  • Kyle, James, Laura, and 26 students came out to Race Rocks today.
  • The students were doing a walk about with Laura, discussing marine biology for their upcoming final exam.
  • James did some work on the Davis Weather station and got most of it working again.

Other

  • Four DND blasts today.
  • 10:05, 10:07, 11:24, and 11:26.

Short-billed Dowitchers?

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots East, later 5-10 NW
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • The same three elephant seals on Great Race.
  • Around 19:00 I came across two unfamiliar looking birds.
  • While they could be Dunlins, they don’t have the appropriate black belly, and so my guess is that they are Short-billed Dowitchers.

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

Other

  • There were six DND blast today.
  • Two large ones at 11:33 and 11:35.
  • Two medium ones at 12:40 and 12:42.
  • Two small ones at 14:35 and 14:37.

Crows & Eggs

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: calm
  • For a couple of hours in the afternoon, wind 15-20 knots West, and some rain.

Ecological

  • Two crows pecked about in an abandoned goose nest.
  • Quite a good day for birding!
  • Three elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • At least three eco-tours came by today.