Sept 15th..up to 175 sea lions

Today I used the new seawater pump to fill the cistern which had gotten pretty low. We de-salinate water here for household purposes as there is insufficient rain and the roofs are quite contaminated with gull poop!

The reserve is busy today with tour boats and divers. I had to call one of the companies to ask their operator to slow down at the edge of the reserve. Usually they are pretty good but occasionally a new driver doesn’t realize the reserve boundaries. More troubling are the recreational boaters who frequently speed through the reserve. The problem is that unless you are a local it is unlikely you will know the guidelines. As much as I dislike signs this seems a reasonable place for a few “5 knots” and ” No Fishing” signs. There is simply no way I can ask them to slow down from my perch on Great Race Island…

The California and Steller sea lions are here in droves. I counted more than 175 Stellers in the reserve. The vast majority are bulls but there are a few cows and in the last few days a number of yearlings have shown up. I will get some pictures for the next entry. The view from the tower shows the commotion outside my house!

Hundreds of California Sea Lions adorn the lawn.

In other animal news, quite a few glaucous-winged gulls remain but i think all the chicks can fly now. A few cormorants have returned and about 50 black turnstones wander about between the sea lions picking off insects. I also observed some type of sandpiper picking insects off a dead gull chick. Very resourceful!

Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)