The first gentle sou’east weather pattern with clouds and rain occurred in the last few days. The rain is most welcome to wash away a summers worth of gull and pinniped excrement. This island can be smelled from a kilometer away!
About 2/3s of the sea lions have left since the weather change. We are down to around 140 animals, perhaps 75 are Stellers down from the 175 of 10 days ago. Californians make up the remainder down from 225. Quite a few juveniles have showed up in the last week.
More birds are showing up. In the last few days several Harlequin ducks and a few dozen cormorants returned to dot the shoreline with the oystercatchers. Flocks of Bonaparte gulls feed on minnows in the eddies, forced to the surface from the deeper water by murres and rhinoceros auklets. Killdeers are spending the nights here. I hear them when I shut down the generator at night. Close to 30 sparrows are flitting about, and yesterday a few eagles and ravens were hunting and scavenging. Late developing gull chicks are on the menu. The flock of turnstones forages in the sea lion haulout ignored by the sea lions.
Tour boats are becoming less frequent and sport fishermen are waning too… yesterday for example a pod of orca passed with only 2 boats watching them rather than 8-10.