Census day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles, a bit foggy this morning but burned off by noon to partly cloudy
  • Wind: 10-15 NW got continuously more calm through the day
  • Sky: partly cloudy throughout the day
  • Water: stayed consistently calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours came through today
  • Had a couple visitors, come by with Kyle this morning and then had Kyle and Guy come back this afternoon to help me out with a couple things

Ecological

  • Census day!
    1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 35
    2. Harbour Seals: 44
    3. California Sea Lions: 23
    4. Elephant Seals: 13
    5. Seagulls unspecified: 291
    6. Pigeon Guillemots: 152
    7. Cormorants unspecified: 29
    8. Canada Geese: 14
    9. Savannah Sparrows: 0
    10. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (2 female, 6 male)
    11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
    12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  • There are 2 more elephant seals than usual! so thats exciting, they stayed scattered today on the path from the lighthouse to the jetty
  • As you can see there have been a decrease in sea lions, they are no longer on the southern rocks and have moved to the main island one group on the north side and another group on the southside
  • There have been an increase in gulls, pigeon guillemots and cormorants, also the harlequins are back, I did not see them last week
  • There has also been an increase in harbour seals, when I counted them they were mostly all on the Middle Rocks but have since scattered about the South Islands as well

Visitors and sunshine

 

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind: Morning 5-10 NE looks like it will pick up throughout the day
  • Sky: Some clouds but very sunny and warm in the morning, clouds came rolling in, in the afternoon
  • Water: calm, some rolling waves no more than 1 metre

Boats/Visitors

  • A couple eco tours came around
  • The first year Pearson College Marine Science students had their final exam here today thankfully it was nice and sunny throughout their whole exam

Ecological

  • Looks to be the same 11 elephant seals, they did decide it was too sunny to stay on land today and a few of them went for a swim, see elephant seal train to the ocean in photographs below

 

 

The Census of Birds and Mammals

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 miles, later 15 until…
  • 19:35 onwards foggy, 100 yards.
  • Fog horn sounded for over 3 hours.
  • Wind: 0-5 knots South East.
  • In the evening 15-25 West.
  • Sky: overcast, then sunny, then foggy.
  • Water: calm

Mount Baker near sunrise.

Strangely disturbed water.

Ecological

  • Census day! Counting stuff!
  • Found what to me is a solo mystery bird.
  • Surprised to see no Black Turnstones around today.
  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 53
  2. Harbour Seals: 35
  3. California Sea Lions: 29
  4. Elephant Seals: 13 (11 on Great Race, 2 on Middle Rock)
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 304
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 225
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 21
  8. Canada Geese: 18
  9. Savannah Sparrows: 10
  10. Harlequin Ducks: 9 (6 males and 3 females)
  11. Black Oystercatchers: 7
  12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  13. Mystery bird: 1
  14. Black Turnstones: ZERO!

Maintenance

  • Ran the desalinator.

Boats

  • Lots of eco-tours cameth by today. Over 10!
  • Some of them were perhaps a bit too close to the mammals at times?
  • Kyle brought me my final food order; milk, red and green bell peppers, sour cream, and onions.
  • Eerily reminiscent of the Thin White Duke’s diet..

Visitors

  • Kyle with food stuff.

Friday Morning Visitors

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 0-5 knots North in the morning.
  • From 15:00 onwards, 15-20 knots West.
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • The same eight elephant seals on Great Race today.
  • Most of them spent a couple of hours in the water by the jetty.

Maintenance

  • Lots more goose work.
  • Disentangled a large amount of rope from various branches and kelp fronds.
  • If you lost your rope, be careful! Animals can get tangled up in it.

Boats

  • Second Nature.
  • Multiple eco-tours.

Visitors

  • Kyle brought out a group of visitors in the early morning.

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.

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.

Amazing Sunset

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: rippled
  • Amazing pink/red sunset!

Ecological

  • Just one elephant seal on Great Race today.
  • Three elephant seals on Middle Rock though.

Maintenance

  • Some goose work.
  • Set up and took away barrels for diesel transfer.

Boats

  • A couple of eco-tours came by.
  • Second Nature came out with diesel.

Visitors

  • Kyle and two English volunteers came out with diesel.
  • I gave the two lads a tour while Kyle transferred the diesel.

Other

  • Some DND blasting today.
  • Medium blasts at 11:30, 11:32, and 12:13.
  • Bigger blasts at 14:47 and 14:49.

Visit from Cheanuh First Nations

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 10-15 knots SW, later 5-10 West
  • Sky: clear
  • Water: 1′ chop

Ecological

  • A new female elephant seal appeared this afternoon.
  • The weaner moved about 3 feet all day, snoozing on top of the cistern.
  • Watched some geese engage in battle.
  • Some nice flowers.

Maintenance

  • Month end report data collection.
  • Stacked some firewood.
  • Did some goose work.

Boats

  • Kyle came out in Second Nature with some visitors from the local First Nations Reserve.
  • While presumably checking out the harbour seals, they came across a boat with some of their friends in it.

Visitors

  • The chief from Cheanuh, his wife, and their two children came out with Kyle and Guy.

A No Weaner Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots North
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: rippled

Ecological

  • Census day!
  • The weaner was gone this morning. Hopefully he is ok.
  • Normally I only ever see killdeer at night, but today I saw a pair off and on all day!
  1. California Sea Lions: 85
  2. Harbour Seals: 44
  3. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 1 male
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 269 (same total two weeks in a row!)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 241
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 57
  8. Surfbirds: 49
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 32 (16 males and 16 females)
  10. Black Turnstones: 22
  11. Canada Geese: 13
  12. Black Oystercatchers: 9
  13. Bald Eagles: 6 (2 adults, 4 immature)
  14. Killdeer: 2

Boats

  • Kyle stopped by for 1 minute to exchange the extra security camera for a new Wifi access point.
  • There were several fishing boats literally yards outside the Rockfish Conservation Area.
  • A few eco-tours came by.

Maintenance

  • Installed the new Wifi access point in the Students’ House.

Other

  • Lots of DND blasting today.
  • Small blasts at the following times:
  • 10:25, 10:27, 10:45, and 12:34.
  • Larger blasts at the following times:
  • 12:32, 12:53, 14:52, 14:54, and 15:11.