Wind: 10-15 knots West, later 5 knots South, then 5-10 West
Sky: clear and sunny!
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.
California Sea Lions: 79
Harbour Seals: 69
Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 33
Elephant Seals: 3, all on Great Race, 2 young males, 1 weaner
Whale: 1 (I think it was an Orca)
Seagulls unspecified: 269
Pigeon Guillemots: 45
Cormorants unspecified: 30
Double Crested Cormorants: 9
Harlequin Ducks: 27 (15 males and 12 females)
Canada Geese: 24
Black Turnstones: 20
Bald Eagles: 20 (4 adults, 16 immature)
Black Oystercatchers: 6
Rock Sandpipers: 4
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.
Kyle and Jeff came out in Second Nature.
One helicopter flew just south of the reserve in the morning.
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
Eagles :2 but 5 on Sunday
Steller Sea Lions :22
Californian Sea Lion:60
Elephant Seals:2 juvenile males and 1 pup
Geese :8 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday!
Pigeons- Guillemots :around 35
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 watchedIt is amazing to see how big in only one month this elephant seal pup became!
The census was done with the students
Steller’s Sea lions : 21
Californian Sea lions:92
Elephant seals:3 – 1 adult male , 1 pup , another one on Middle island but which one ?
Harlequin Ducks :24
200 liters of oil transferred in the eco guardians house
2 Canadian navy boats no 706 and 710 making their way slowly towards Esquimalt at 6:00PM
Guy made a tour with some students and explain all the process for the stockage of energy and desalination of the water.
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
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
3 Watchers and a police boats going towards Esquilmalt..some small fishing boats closed to Pedder Bay.