Spring Equinox

Clear skies. Variable North-East to South-East winds.
Waning gibbous moon, only one low day-time tide (~1m), and 4 to 5 kt currents.

I’m a day late, but Spring has officially arrived as determined by the sun crossing over the celestial equator.
There was a lot of Harbour seals out on Middle and Turbine rocks today. The Elephant seals are on the West Rocks. The Sea lions are still out on South Rocks. There was a large group of Harlequin ducks (14) in the water off the East beach. Cormorants were arriving in the reserve all day so assume my count dramatically under-estimates their numbers. The Canada geese with the nest next to the Keeper’s house have two eggs now. None of the other pairs of Geese seem to have settled enough to have eggs. The gulls are starting to pair up and settle into nesting spots. Amazingly, there were 7 Bald Eagles in the Reserve this morning. Most of them were sitting in pairs on the tops of various rocks. They were a fairly even mix of juveniles and adults. I saw a few sandpiper-like birds, but they were too fast for me to photograph or properly identify. Judging by the smell coming from the tank shed walkway, there is still a River otter living out here. And I saw some Scoters in the mouth of Pedder Bay on my way into the college this morning.

2 Tour boats

First Day of Spring Animal Census

Steller Sea lion: 31
California Sea lion: 6
Elephant seal: 3
Harbour seal: 144
Cormorant: 54
Gull: 133
Canada Goose: 15
Harlequin duck: 17
Black turnstone: 5
Unidentified sandpiper: 3
Oyster catcher: 6
Bald eagle: 7
Savannah sparrow:4
Pigeon Guillemots: 25
River otter: 1

Off station today from 0830 to 1030 to get keys and dive gear.
-fixed sagging corner on crane deck/walkway
-checked/cleaned Science House propane cleanout