Several gulls nests have chicks since yesterday

Wednesday, July 03, 2002
Good Evening
TEMPERATURE: Max 14.0 C  Min 9.9 C  Reset 12.0 C  Rain tr
MARINE LIFE: Don’t mind the clouds and cool temperatures but really the constant westerly tends to wear on the nerves, the birds don’t seem to mind it – they just tuck their bills under a wing and nap. Several gulls nests have chicks since yesterday, watched, from the front porch, the first chick hatch from the group of nests closest to the house. It’s a fairly slow process, first a tiny, dark beak breaks through the egg and over a couple of hours the chick pushes it’s way out. The adult is on and off the nest checking the progress and when finally the chick is free of the egg the shell is taken about 3 m away and discarded.In an hour or so the chick is dry with yellowy-brown down-totally unlike the adult.The Oyster Catcher chicks on the other hand look very much like the adults except for bill colour and slightly lighter plumage. The Gulls are usually 2-3 years before they take on all the characteristics of the adults.The dark cloud lurking over this wonderful new life arrives between 1and 2 a.m. creating havoc, devouring some eggs and crushing others, some chicks are crushed and some eaten all the while the adult gulls are in the air screeching piteously diving at the intruder to no avail- the otter is on the hunt again! Haven’t seen the otter for several weeks, not even any signs of it like scat in the usual places- was really hoping it had moved on, maybe to Bentinck Island.Some resident Orcas were in the reserve this afternoon moving quite slowly along the south side of Gr. Race they did a lot of tail slapping,rolling and fishing in the kelp.There was the usual flotilla of whale watcher boats which for the most part abided by the guidelines – however after the Orcas had moved east away from the reserve at about 15:30, 2 ecotour boats went by too fast with respect to the no -wake policy and 3 others were too close to shore just west of the dock where there were feeding Pigeon Guillemots. 1 ecotour operator stopped in the kelp just off the northwest bluffs of Gr Race and pulled kelp into the boat for the passengers.Since this is a protected area such activities are not within the guidelines.
HUMAN INTERACTION: there were 5 pleasure craft through the reserve and 23 ecotour boats.
posted by Carol or Mike S at 7:07 PM
Good Morning
WEATHER: Sky Part Cloudy  Vis 15 Miles  Wind West 25 Gust 30 knots  Sea 3 – 4 Foot Moderate
posted by Carol or Mike S at 5:25 AM