It takes a lot of energy to feed three chicks with both adults taking turns.

Friday, June 21, 2002
Good Evening
TEMPERATURE: Max. 18.0 C Min. 9.9 C  Reset 13.3 C
THE DAY: Clear Vis. 15 Miles  Wind North West Light 15:35 West 27 Knots Sea Rippled 16:00 2′ to 3 foot Chop
MARINE LIFE: Another good weather day! although the wind did pick up in the late afternoon. The Oyster Catchers are busy gathering food for the chicks some of which are as big as the adults but not very nimble just yet and do a lot more falling off rocks than hopping from one to another. The oldest chicks from the nest in the east bay area are starting to pick at snails etc. at the low tides but most of their success is mostly good luck – problem with attention span and anyway the mainstay of their diet is still being provided by the parents.Chicks beaks are still dark coloured at the tips and much paler orange on the rest so are easily distinguished from the adults.It takes a lot of energy to feed three chicks with both adults taking turns.When the tide is low the food is relatively close by but as the tide rises the adults have to fly farther to find chitons, mussels, snails and the like.Watched for 1 hour after the tide had covered the accessible food areas near the chicks and the adult was foraging several hundred metres away on the southeast rocks -in that hour the adult made 13 return trips –sometimes it took only 30-40 seconds to find food and return but often it took over a minute to come up with the appropriate food item.That’s a lot of trips a day one limpet, snail,mussel, etc. at a time and also a lot of energy prying the aforesaid creatures off the rocks!
HUMAN INTERACTION: Second Nature out with group for tour and dropped Ryan off to relieve while we did some errands in town.Ryan reported that a group in a rental boat breached the guildlines by landing 2 people on middle rock and they were harassing the elephant seals that were hauled out. There is a policy of no landing on the islands except by obtaining a permit from B.C. Parks – fortunately most people would not think of disturbing the marine animals like this but there is always 1( in this case 2) in every crowd!!
posted by at 7:42 PM
Good Morning
WEATHER: Sky Clear Vis. 15 Miles  Wind North West 4 Knots Sea Rippled
posted by at 5:19 AM