End of Summer?

The day started with partially overcast skies and a south wind of 5 – 10 knots. Late morning, the wind picked up from the northeast and brought fog. There was a bit of sunshine mid afternoon and then clouds gradually filled. By evening the wind was from the west 5 knots. Barometric pressure ended up a little higher than yesterday, but not by much and it was dropping again as evening progressed. The forecast is calling for showers and light to variable east to northeast winds.

There were was whale watching activity to the south today and 12 whale watching vessel visits were observed in the Ecological Reserve. They were mostly well behaved but a couple operators need to mind their speed in reserve and everyone gets very close to the sea otters, although the sea otters do not seem disturbed. Three sports fishing vessels were noted in reserve. They all slowed and proceeded carefully, using Middle Channel.

As the weather changes and summer draws to a close, more migratory birds are noted at Race Rocks. Some are just passing through on their way south, maybe some of the same ones I saw going in the other direction last spring such as Barn Swallows, Fox Sparrow and American Pipets. Other birds are arriving back from their breeding grounds to spend the fall winter and spring, like the Harlequin Ducks. Harlequin Ducks were seen this morning around Turbine Rock. Others are at the northern end of their post-breeding migration like the Heerman’s Gulls and California Gulls and will head south again before long. Pelagic Cormorants are spotted roosting near Camera 5 daily. This is a species that used to nest here and it would be nice to see them nesting here again.

On the Pinniped front there were nine Northern Elephant Seals holding their ground on the top of Middle Rock today. As I know from personal experience they are good at that.

Chores were routine today and there were no visitors.