Strong west-southwest winds blew all day with a continuous cycle of showers and dramatic clouds scudding through. Wind velocities ranged from 10 to over 30 knots, up the tower. A low snowline could be seen in the Olympic Mountains from time to time and the air was chilly. The barometer has been climbing steadily since last night and the forecast is for more of the same with a risk of thunderstorms.
No tour boats or fishers were observed in the Ecological Reserve and Rockfish Conservation Area today.
A Sea Otter was spotted in the main channel in front of the eco-guardians’ house again today. As the tide turned, it swam over to Turbine Rock and on arrival was surrounded by six or seven small Harbour Seals. The adult seals remained uninterested, asleep on the rock. Through the spotting scope, it looked like interspecies play with lots of exaggerated diving and washing up onto the rock and back out. This is one of the first times I have looked at a sea otter for any length of time when it was not eating, grooming or sleeping.
Three Northern Elephant Seals moved right up onto Great Race today. When I did the water sample at six there was one individual lolling around by the jetty. I looked up mid-morning and three of them were doing the wave along the walkway. One stopped at the intersection, one went back closer to the boat shed and the third went right around the science house onto the rocks on the west side. None of these individuals were tagged. Once settled, they slept soundly for the rest of the day.
Most of the Canada Geese are sitting on eggs already and the ganders are fearless defenders. I am trying to discourage one insistent pair of geese that haven’t laid yet (I think) from nesting right beside the path to the Energy Building but it seems to be a losing battle. The area near the stone burial cairns has been seriously overgrazed by the geese and the earth around the biggest one is eroding around the edges. In that area the goose exclusion cages show up a large difference between grazed and un-grazed (caged). In other areas where crab-grass dominates there is little difference inside and out of the cages.
There were no visitors today.