All kinds of weather today

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: 20-25 SW in the early morning came down to nothing around noon and then picked up to 25 in the evening
  • Sky: Cloudy, rained a little bit but was also very sunny at times
  • Water: waves in the morning and then calm waters and then back up in the evening

Boats/Visitors

  • a few ecotours while the weather was nice this afternoon

Ecological

  • the 10 elephant seals I counted stayed scattered around the pathways and not just in front of the house

Sunny Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles, Mt. Baker visible in the late afternoon
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North, later up to 10-15 North
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Still only the weaner on Great Race.
  • Very cute!

Maintenance

  • Cleaned the solar panels.
  • Various daily and bi-daily tasks.

Boats

  • At least 4 eco-tours came by today.
  • One of them was likely too close to the sea lions on the South Islands, as there was a stampede.
  • One boat was definitely fishing within the Rockfish Conservation Area, but I was unable to identify any numbers on the boat, and I suspect they were First Nations, which would make it none of my concern.
  • One sailboat wandered through in the early afternoon.

Guardian shift change

Guy left the station around 800 in the morning. We met around noon at the college and debriefed. I came out in the whaler and landed around 1400.  I will be here for the month of December.

Ecological

  • There were 3 male elephant seals on Great Race when i arrived, 2 of them are adult including Chunk, the other appears to be adolescent.  There was another male elephant seal on West Rock.
  • There are more sealions in the reserve than I recall from previous years at this time and they are more present on Great Race as well,  including a persistent congregation on and around the jetty.

Boats

  •  3 ecotour boats after I arrived in the afternoon.  Two of them appeared to be within 100 m (DFO setback guideline) of sealions.

Sea Lions, Boats, & Other Stuff

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles (Mt. Baker visible)
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Two California sea lions with neck rings. Poor guys.
  • Two sea lions with brands.
  • California: X168
  • Steller: 678
  • Saw a few California sea lions with head injuries, as well as one Steller.
  1. California Sea Lions: 678
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 533
  3. Harbour Seals: 37
  4. Elephant Seals: 5 on Great Race
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 449
  6. Thayer’s Gulls: 235
  7. Glaucous-winged Gulls: 20
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 357
  9. Brandt’s Cormorants: 10
  10. Pelagic Cormorants: 6
  11. Double Crested Cormorants: 4
  12. Black Turnstones: 20
  13. Canada Geese: 5
  14. Dunlin: 1
  15. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  16. Bald Eagle: 1 adult

Maintenance

  • Ran the saltwater pump into the cistern for 5 and a quarter hours.

Boats

  • A handful of eco-tours came by today. At least 5.
  • One of the boats caused a minor sea lion stampede on the east part of Great Race.
  • My photos only show the tail end of the stampede.
  • Much more happened between the “pre stampede” photo and my end shots.

Various Boats

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 NE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • The fog horn went off from at least 4am-7am.

Ecological

  • Saw a great blue heron fly over the reserve around 11.
  • Was unable to get a photograph though.
  • 6 elephant seals on Great Race.

Maintenance

  • Added most of a diesel barrel to the tidy tank.
  • Ran the desalinator in the evening.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • A sailboat glided peacefully through middle channel.
  • One pleasure craft was observed travelling at a speed which was likely over the limit.
  • A rather peculiar looking craft spent much of the daylight hours near North Rock.

An Unremarkable Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 5 miles, later 15
  • Wind: 5-10 knots NE, later up to 20
  • Sky: fog, then overcast, then rain.
  • Water: no waves but some swell hitting the rocks.

Ecological

  • A very ordinary day today.

Maintenance

  • The usual chores.
  • Had to restart the UPS in the tower.

Boats

  • Ogden Point Dive boat had divers down in Middle Channel this morning.
  • A few eco-tours came by in the afternoon.

The Cackling Goose!

Weather

  • The 7:00 weather report (plus developments).
  • Visibility: 10 miles (later 15)
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South (15-25 knots West noon onwards)
  • Sky: overcast and raining (sun in the afternoon)
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • All the elephant seals except for the smallest guy were off island today.
  • I did see 6 of them playing in the water near the jetty.
  • Improved my seagull identification skills today.
  • This was the first day I noticed many Heermann’s Gulls.
  • Fun to watch the lone cackling goose wander with the larger Canadians.
  • Saw one branded California Sea Lion: U975
  • Saw one California Sea Lion with a plastic neck ring.
  • Conducted an all day animal census.
  1. California Sea Lions: 434
  2. Northern (Steller) Sea Lions: 219
  3. Harbour Seals: 59
  4. Elephant Seals: 7
  5. Seagulls: 1077 (Tentative 85% Thayer’s, 15% Glaucous-Winged)
  6. Cormorants: 375 (Tentative: 30 Pelagic, 25 Double Crested, 14 Brandt’s.)
  7. Heermann’s Gulls: 50
  8. Black Turnstone: 24
  9. Canada Geese: 11
  10. Black Oystercatchers: 10
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (1 male, 2 female)
  12. Cackling Goose: 1
  13. Savannah Sparrow: 1
  14. Bald Eagle: 1 adult on South Rock

Maintenance

  • Extended my new fence set up.
  • Removed the fence in front of the students’ house.
  • It was never very effective, and is less needed now.
  • Ran the desalinator in the afternoon.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by today.
  • One small boat was observed speeding in the reserve.

The Advancement Team

Weather

  • Visibility: 15+ miles
  • Wind: 10-15 NE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: rippled
  • The first of three storms is expected to arrive tonight, bringing rain and wind.
  • A rather calm day though, with exquisite views of Mt. Baker!

Ecological

  • The elephant seals were in a playful mood today.

Maintenance

  • Reset the electric fence.
  • Stacked firewood.
  • Ran the new sea water pump into the cistern with Kyle’s help.
  • Looked at probably a dozen different systems and areas of concern with Kyle.
  • As ready as possible for the storm.

Boats

  • Second Nature brought the Advancement Team out today.
  • The Ogden Point Dive boat was in Middle Channel.
  • A few fishing boats and eco-tours passed by.

Visitors

  • Kyle and the Advancement Team.
  • The A’ Team is in charge of raising funds for Pearson College and Race Rocks.

Broken Bench

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots NW, later SE
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • 6 elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • 2 of them prevented me from fully fixing the electric fence.
  • No sign of the winter wren in the lighthouse.

Maintenance

  • Reset the electric fence as best I could.
  • Discovered that the sea lions had completely destroyed the SW facing bench.
  • A metal bench with wooden seat, all the boards were snapped.
  • Hauled away the pieces.
  • Wood for future burning, metal for rebuilding with new wood.

Boats

  • Quite a few boats out today on a glorious Thanksgiving.
  • Several seemed to be too close to the sea lions near the jetty.

Winter Wren in the Lantern Room

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots N, later NW
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm
  • Lovely day!

Ecological

  • Encountered a winter wren in the lantern room of the lighthouse.
  • Opened the outdoor hatch to let it out, but instead it hid inside an air vent.
  • I presume the wren is still inside the room, unless it found a way out.
  • Luckily I had the camera with me.
  • The last time a winter wren was documented at Race Rocks was April 19, 2014.

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator during the afternoon.
  • Spray painted an empty diesel barrel.
  • The usual chores.

Boats

  • The Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue boat came through the reserve again.
  • Several eco-tours, sailboats, and pleasure craft wandered through today.