It was a blustery day dominated by the west wind today and with the wind came some cloud cover and cooler maritime air. The barometer rose slightly and then started to drop late in the day. It is likely that we will get both fog and showers tomorrow.

I saw Killer Whales off to the southwest, early, but only had glimpses and wasn’t able to identify them. Whale watching was down to a dull roar with only seven commercial whale-watching boats noted in the reserve today. There was no illegal fishing activity and only one recreational boat that came in to watch the sea lions.

These young Steller's Sea Lions have been wrestling for hours and are taking a break here without either conceding defeat.

These young Steller’s Sea Lions have been wrestling for hours and are taking a break here without either conceding defeat.

The bigger, young, male Steller’s Sea Lions spend hours each day practicing their sparring skills as they try to grab the other by the throat or hold the head of their opponent down through brute force. This activity usually happens in the shallow water next to the haul-out, so they are actually moving around on the rocks underneath them but in the water. It appears to be all in good fun and involves a lot of lunging, avoidance, feints, attacks and parrying. All good practice for when they are big enough to haul out on the breeding grounds and fight with more grim determination to hold their ground and pass their genes on to the next generation.

Brown Pelicans blown in by the westerly winds.

One of the Brown Pelicans blown in by the westerly winds and a young gull.

The west wind blew in four Brown Pelicans today and their arrival seemed to herald a change of season. They were buffeted by the heavy winds and didn’t stay for long.

Other visitors today included the electrician and his assistant/daughter(?) and her friend, who would like to be an eco-guardian some day. The electrician was tilting up the last row of the flat solar panels and inspecting the solar-powered system.

Solar panels provide much of the electricity used on the island and the generator is just used to top-up the batteries. The plan is to add wind generation, which would further enhance sustainable, off-grid, power generation. There is certainly enough wind.