Orcas out

Sunday, December 16, 2001
MARINE LIFE: 4 Bald Eagles visited the Reserve today,3 immatures and one mature.The first one(mature) arrived just after 9:30 this morning with it’s breakfast-an unidentified fish -grasped in it’s talons. The big bird set down on the NW bluff just above the boat house to eat. As the eagle tore off pieces of fish the 5 crows danced around it, wary, but anxious to get any bits that scattered.After only 5 or 6 minutes the eagle flew off leaving the crows to scour the rocks for any scraps however tiny! I did not see anything that would have scared the eagle,certainly not the crows!
Just after 10 a.m. a lone California Sea Lion came ashore just east of the boat dock and proceeded to lumber across the island stopping every 3 metres or so to roll and rub on the grass.The reason we took note of the poor fellow is that he has a terrible scar around his neck -garbage in the sea or maybe some type of discarded fishing gear.Sea Lions with this type of wound, unfortunately are not that rare.We could not get close enough to see if it was just a scar or whether something was still in the wound.About noon 3 immature Bald Eagles landed on the ridge of West Race.They sat there for about 10 minutes until a boat approached (divers) and they flew over to N Rocks.After 1/2 hour or so they flew over to SE rocks where they stayed except for a couple of flights around the islands, unsuccessful attempts at getting a bird dinner.Two of these birds looked somewhat bedraggled with the mottled appearance of the head and tail feathers.The distinctive white plumage gradually appears with each molt over 4 or 5 years.
Just before 1:30 I noticed two Orcas northeast of North Rks. They were being followed by several groups of Sea Lions at about 100 metres. The whales surfaced 4 or 5 times as they made their way south just at the edge of the east side kelp bed.The last we saw they were in front of the engine room 200-300 metres off shore.As we watched for the whales to come back a 3-4 metre bull Elephant Seal drifted by and came into the small east bay. I did get some video as he floated around with just his head and unmistakable nose above the surface.He stayed in the bay only 12-15 minutes,arched his back,flared his great nostrils,dove into a wave and was gone! We often hear the elephant Seals vocalizing at night, it sounds like a calf bellowing in a tin can, but not lately, and from the sound of the roaring 45+ knt. not tonight either!
HUMAN INTERACTION: 12:10am -1:45pm Boat with 6 divers -West Race
TEMPERATURE: Max. 10.1C — 6.3C — Reset 8.7C — Rain 26.2 mm — Total rain fall for December 109.9 mm
posted by Carol or Mike S at 10:11 PM
Good Morning
WEATHER: Sky Overcast — Vis. 15 Miles — Wind West 13 Knots — Sea 1 Foot Chop
posted by Carol or Mike S at 7:32 AM