Hi, I’m Julie and I’m going to be taking over for Mike starting in July. Over the past week and a half he’s kindly been showing me the ropes of the place. More elephant seals have been visiting and currently we have about ten in the reserve. A couple of days ago, one crept into one of the buildings where we take the salinity measurements. He stayed for a number of hours and seemed very pleased to have found himself a cool, shaded, and sheltered area. Fortunately, he left on his own accord and no damage was done. Mike and I will be sure to keep a closer eye on the doors in the future!
Our largest male, Misery, has alas begun to moult and has lost a significant amount of pelage in the past day and a half. Chunk, our second largest, has been losing weight and we predict he will take off and return to the sea in the next few days.
On another note, the red flags were put up on Bentinck Island yesterday morning and there have been 4 blastings today by the military. Although the elephant seals don’t seem to be bothered terribly, the hundreds of glaucous-winged gulls go haywire each time this happens before settling back down again.
Yesterday, Mike spotted humpbacks passing south of the reserve in the rain.