Cut and Recycle Plastic Straps

Beautiful weather continues and today’s lack of fog and strong winds made it a really perfect summer day. The barometer rose steadily all day and the outlook is for more of the same.

Thirty-five whale-watching boats were noted in the reserve today and some may have been missed as I made a mad dash to “civilization” during the late afternoon slack tide. It is quite a process getting the boat launched and then back up into the boat shed but the good coffee I picked up made it all worthwhile. Back on the rock now with 600 sea lions and one Elephant Seal.

Killer Whales were within sight today, out in Juan de Fuca Strait, but not in the reserve and that was why there was high traffic by the boats, stopping by to see the sea lions.

I spent an hour this morning in the tower, photographing the tagged/branded animals that I have been recording. It is really nice to have a birds’ eye view of the rookery. Speaking of rooks, there were two ravens this morning. Until today I have only seen solo ravens. The evening bird continues to be a mystery to me, I can only describe the call as being high pitched and saying something like chee bedee be dee be dee. From the few glimpses I have had of it in the dark (not very good glimpses) I would say that it flew like a shorebird. (turned out to be a killdeer)

Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets are feeding in deeper water around the reserve now and today saw an influx of California Gulls into the reserve. The Heerman’s Gulls continue to join mixed-species, feeding flocks and forage on their own but I have not seen any landing on Great Race. There are more and more Canada Geese landing every day and they are eating every new little green thing that is not a thistle. Can they be classified as pest-like?

Another reason to both cut and recycle plastic straps. Three ring-necks observed today.

Another reason to both cut and recycle plastic straps. Three ring-necks observed today.

I photo-documented more entangled sea lions today to follow up on work being done by Wendy Szaniszlo, the Vancouver Aquarium and others. I observed two California Sea Lions ring necked, one is doing very poorly with an open wound and liquid coming out of it. It looks like a white plastic strap. The other may have already been treated as it looks and acts healthy. As I was coming into to land at the jetty in the tidal race, I noticed a Steller’s Sea Lion that was ring-necked. I did not get a chance to photograph it as landing here is already exciting enough by myself. I will look for it after chores in the morning.

Chores were basic today, cleaning and organizing, sharpening tools and almost completing the new fence.