Whale Sighting!

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear and sunny!
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • Shortly before 15:30 as I was counting shorebirds, I heard a loud noise to my right. Glancing over, I was thrilled to see a whale surfacing in the South Channel. I managed to get some photos as it resurfaced farther south-west.
  1. California Sea Lions: 79
  2. Harbour Seals: 69
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
  4. Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
  5. Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
  6. Seagulls unspecified: 269
  7. Pigeon Guillemots: 45
  8. Cormorants unspecified: 30
  9. Double Crested Cormorants: 9
  10. Surfbirds: 37
  11. Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
  12. Canada Geese: 24
  13. Black Turnstones: 20
  14. Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
  15. Black Oystercatchers: 6
  16. Rock Sandpipers: 4
  17. Crows: 3

Boats

  • A few eco-tours passed by today.
  • Second Nature came out with food supplies for me.
  • A large navy sailboat passed by north of the reserve.

Visitors

  • Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.

Other

  • One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.

Census and gale again in the evening

Weather

At 8:00:10 North East wind ,calm and overcast .Rain in the morning and no wind at all around 10AM .The usual calm weather before a storm and  around 6:00PM to 11:00, The wind from West raised steadily from 20 to 40 knots . We noticed that the darkness is coming only after 6H30

Vessel and aeroplans

The morning was really calm so it was easy for me to notice that something was wrong…like a chainsaw running somewhere and looking by the window all around the rock you could see a small grey zodiac, full speed creating a panic all around!!! Finally It headed to Pedder Bay…End of the story. I Coast guard’s helicopter

Census

Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday

Gulls:320

Steller Sea Lions :22

Californian Sea Lion:60

Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup

Harlequin Duck:21

Cormorants:90

Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!

Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35

Crow:2

Black turnstones:10

Harbour Seals:50

Oystercatchers:8 on Saturday but 18 on Sunday

It is interesting to notice that on Saturday with the coming storm the Island was not as busy as on Sunday where we could see more animals especially birds around.

 

 

 

 

 

Students on the Island

Weather

Windy day above 20 knots from West on Wednesday and Friday but the rest of the time light wind and calm sea, overcast to rainy mainly grey days

Ecological

The geese at least 3 couples and the oyster catchers (3 couples too) are already going by 2.Chunk is not back and the 3 elephant Seals:Boss,the younger male and the last pup are around.The pigeons guillemots (around 30 )have been seen again but not even one when we did the census…The population situation is very different from one day to the other

Work with students

The plan was to make them paint the desalinisaton house but there was too much moisture  and we have to let it dry before any painting job . So they helped us with the wood : stalking and splitting and  cleaning around the jetty. Guy explained them all the systems involved on Race Rocks( electricity stockage,desalinisation…) and I did the census 2 times in 2 groups. We can tell that during their stay we didn’t use so much water Thanks to them ;they really understood the challenge of the place! One of them  had a look at our emergency supply.

Maintenance

End of the month reports. Jetty cleaning with the high pressure washer

Vessels and flights

2,3 watching boats at the most, a Canadian Frigate coming back towards Esquilmalt, a big fishing boat heading to the ocean and an helicopter closed

DSC_0378DSC_0391DSC_0436

 

 

 

 

Census day

Weather

Calm day with a west wind 5 knots,overcast,cold:2.1 degrees Celsius. The wind picked up in the evening and reached 40 knots around midnight.

Ecological 

We put back to the sea the dead pup. Guy used the crane . One student help,ready to cut the line ( It was not necessary)and the others watchedDSC_0310DSC_0287DSC_0290DSC_0294DSC_0307It is amazing to see how big in only one month this elephant seal pup became!

Census

The census was done with the students

Gulls:134

Harbour seals:37

Steller’s Sea lions : 21

Californian Sea lions:92

Cormorants: 64

geese:5

Elephant seals:3 – 1 adult male , 1 pup , another one on Middle island but which one ?

Oystercatchers :6

Harlequin Ducks :24

Black Turnstones:10

Pigeons -Guillemot:0

Eagles :4

Maintenance

200 liters of oil transferred in the eco guardians house

Vessels

2 Canadian navy boats no 706 and 710 making their way slowly towards Esquimalt at 6:00PM

Other

Guy made a tour with some students and explain all the process for the stockage of energy and desalination of the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Census

Gulls:750

Elephant seals:4

Harlequin Ducks:4

Geese:12

Eagles:8

Guillemots :5

Harbour seals:35

Californian Sea lions: 180

Steelers sea Lions:60

Oystercatchers:12

Black turnstones:10

Cormorants 175

Ecological

anew elephant seal has arrived:a young male a few years old already big enough and healthy. the other ones don’t react negatively.

 

Pigeons – guillemots back

Weather

Very light wind,not stable going from  West to East,calm sea, Sky:overcast to cloudy and rainy (light).Visibility :10 miles, Air temperature:3.9 degrees Celsius.

Ecological

Today for the first time this winter we saw a flock of guillemots :30 around.Chunk was gone fishing but back in the evening .12 geese almost all the time on the Rock.

Vessels

One watching vessel and a big fishing boat heading to the Ocean.

Census

Pigeons -guillemots:35

Elephants Seals : 5 to 6

Gulls :650

Californians Sea Lions :235. One tagged: no 486

Steelers sea Lions:55

Geese:12

Eagles:6 to 9

Harlequin Ducks:7

Harbour Seals:27

Cormorants:110

Census day and find “6 Spots” the harbour Seal!

Weather

Another calm day with 9 knots,North East wind at 8:00AM ,Calm sea,Cloudy to some sunny periods,Visibility over 13 miles. Sea water :7.1 degrees Celsius

Ecological

I thought to have seen the famous seal on Turbine Rock this morning. there was a beautiful spotted Seal and actually the first one like that I ever saw…but when I went to do the census I discovered 7 or 8 spotted ones all together on South Island so…I am not sure anymore …Is “6 spots “around or not?…I let Pam to be the expert and the judge . Again Chunk :he spend the afternoon closed to Guy working at the cleaning of the railway (drifting wood again).A lot of activity for the gulls on the fish banks. In the night I have been awaken by the Sea Lions for the first time in those Winter months

Vessels

3 Watchers  and a police boats going towards Esquilmalt..some small fishing boats closed to Pedder Bay.

Census

Gulls:520

Cormorants :90

Harbour Seals :17

Elephants Seals:6 (2 pups,2 females ,2 males)

Eagles:8

Harlequin Ducks :8 seen this week

Geese:6 seen this week

Black Turnstones: a few

Sea lions : 200

 

Census day

Weather

Pretty windy day ,North wind ,22knots at 8:00 and around 30 at 2:00PM.,white crests on the sea,visibility over 15miles

Maintenance 

Outside wall of the main house and staircase washed.

Ecological

Birds very active :fishing all around. many Oyster catchers on the south rocks of Main. Quiet Elephant seals

Census

Elephant seals:5: one big male,2 females and 2 pups

Sea lions:140

Gulls:440

Geese :4

Oyster catchers :20

Cormorants :around 40

Eagles: 2 adults and 2 juveniles

Black Turnstones:15

Harlequin ducks: 14 seen this week

Others 

Water infiltration by the windows and from the wall in a spot.Stairs a little bit slippery

 

Census and calm day

Weather

Wind :went down around 10:00AM to 13knots

Sky: Nice and sunny and cold day

Census

Gulls:136

Cormorants:60

Elephant Seals:2 (1 female in the evening + the boss)

Sea lions:65

Harbour seals:34

Geese:4

Harlequin Ducks:14

Black turn Stones:10

Raven:2

Eagles :4

Maintenance

Camera 5 cleaned,battery in the crane house put in charge,desalinator and generator on

Boats

1whale Watcher vessel

 

christmas bird count and census

Birds:

  • Turnstone: 12
  • Dunlin: 4
  • Bald Eagle: 13
  • Raven: 2
  • Harlequin Duck: 22

     

  • Black Oyster Catcher: 13

 

  • Cormorant (pelagic and double crested): 57
  • Gull: 67

Pinnipeds:

  • California Sea Lion: 106
  • Northern Sea Lion: 94
  • Elephant Seal: 2 male, 1 female green flipper tag c-586
  • Harbour Seal: 10 (probably more, West Rock)